What Matters Most

By Karin Blythe of Burlington, Iowa, USA

The mission of Jesus Christ is what matters most for the journey ahead.  Doctrine and Covenants 164:9f

Inner-city schools ring with a different tone than any other place I have been. Maybe the bells are louder, or the sound lasts longer, or it rings deeper within the soul. Those bells brought me Johnny, a student I will never forget.

I had to make a disciplined effort to love and care for Johnny because he was a challenge and often an obstacle to learning in my classroom.

When the morning bell rang, I knew Johnny was at school, but I was never sure where. Sometimes he hid between lockers, or made a space for himself in my closet. Sometimes he roamed the halls and disrupted other classrooms.

Early in the school year I had to decide what mattered most as I considered Johnny and his life. His smile could always melt my anger and frustration, and we both knew his actions were not his identity; they were not his being. Johnny was too young for the decisions of his life, and he was screaming for intervention, attention, and compassion.

So Johnny and I made a silent pact to value only what matters most—compassionate acceptance.

Johnny needed to be valued just because he existed, without any expectation or judgment. Johnny needed love that was unconditional, the kind of love that Jesus spent a lifetime expressing, explaining, and advocating. Johnny is a constant reminder to me that we all are called to find “what matters most” and to move forward with that objective and mission as a constant guide.

Prayer for Peace:

Wisdom, guide us in our search for what matters most. Help us find our part in the mission of Jesus Christ. Help us share his love and peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Connecting with God as Center

Each day this week connect with God through journal writing. Use a notebook, journal, computer, or any available paper. Prayerfully center on your intent to open yourself to God’s presence and share what flows from your heart and mind.

Your “letter to God” might include thoughts, questions, feelings, needs, artwork, quotes, and scriptures, or it might take the form of a prayer, psalm, or poem. Try to write at least five minutes each day.

What do you experience? Is this an effective way to connect with God? What surprises you? What new images or questions from God emerge? What deepens or changes in your relationship with God, Christ, Spirit?

Peace Covenant:

I will not judge others. I will love and accept those who challenge me most.

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