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What Matters Most?

October 10, 2014

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This question ‘What matters most?‘ is an incredibly subjective one and any answer given is also very likely to be shaped by the context in which the question is asked. Many of us play multiple roles, and if you are like me your answer might well be different in the contexts of work, where we volunteer or our homes. The question is also vital when it comes to the ‘bigger picture’ in terms of what ultimately matters, what are our key/core values and how we can step away from the compelling nature of the ‘urgent’ to get to the heart of what is really ‘important’ (In some cases the Urgent and Important are linked)

For me, I am very thankful for the work that I get to do, It matters to me a lot, but I am also deeply thankful for my family and they also matter to me a lot. Being able to deeply value my family and also my work and do both well, together, matters to me a great deal.

My problem if I am really honest, Is that more often than not I get it wrong. I don’t really fully awaken in the moment to what really matters. Distraction, over committing, apathy, not saying no, cynicism, getting bogged down, losing perspective, making poor decisions, all can crowd in and make me really lose site of what really matters most.

I’m a big admirer of the writer, retreat leader and public communicator Brian Draper. I have been fortunate enough to go on several of his brilliantly lead retreats, take part in his Advent and Lent email series and also read his books. I can highly recommend all of these. Time and resources well used in my humble opinion.

Anyway, the reason I mention Brian, is that he is about to bring out a new book entitled ‘What Matters Most‘ following on from his last work in print which was also aptly titled ‘Less is More‘ . These works seem really vital for us in an age that prizes activity and being busy as highly regarded. I’m looking forward to reading and engaging with Brian’s forthcoming book. But I’m really keen to ensure that I don’t just pick it up, read it and move on. I am keen, hungry and inspired to ensure that the book’s words and approach sink deeply into my soul and way of being, that enable me to really stop, focus, centre and commit to the life long journey of exploring and seeking to live out what really matters most.

In his book ‘Sabbath as resistence’ Walter Brueggemann talks about the significance of Sabbath as follows

Sabbath represents a radical disengagement from the producer-consumer rat race of the empire. The community welcomes members of any race or nation, any gender or social condition, so long as that person is defined by justice, mercy and compassion and not competition, achievement, production or acquisition. There is no mention of purity, only work stoppage with a neighbourly pause for humanness. 

It matters that we are resourceful, productive and good stewards of the resources, time and gifts that are given to us. We all rightly have the projects, work and initiatives that we have been ‘called’ to or inspired to work on. For that, there can be no doubt. But it is also vital that we take the time alongside that to rest, to be refreshed, to commune not compete, listen not talk and value being what it fully means to be human. Let’s Breathe a little more, for on the Sabbath, Less really is more.

* I’m sure that Breathe will be writing a review of the book in due course. Please do also consider checking out what Brian has to offer in terms of retreats and resources to help us focus more on what matters most http://briandraper.org/

 

 

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