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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Really Matters


Last night was a big night for two young men named David. David Cook and David Archuleta sang in competition for the final time on American Idol--and yes, I was one of the millions of Americans watching with avid interest.

Yep, I admit it; I'm a big fan of American Idol. I love music, and I truly enjoy the competition. I get to know the contestants from the very beginning of the show, when the truly talented are painstakingly--often painfully!--weeded out from the truly awful.

It was a huge night in the lives of both of those young men. Emotions were running high, and the audience was charged with excitement.

At the same time, two candidates were duking it out in yet another round in the primary battles. The ultimate goal? The glory, the prestige, the legacy of being called the next president of the United States of America.

Pretty heady stuff. While one position will definitely have a far greater impact and role in history, the other will introduce one young man--and actually, probably the runner-up as well--to instant fame, wealth, adulation, and all that it entails.

But you know what? In the light of eternity, neither title will matter a hill of beans.

The Bible makes it clear what's really important--what will really endure, what will really stand the test of time. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 1:14:

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity
and grasping for the wind.

Solomon may have seemed pretty cynical, but he had it right. Nothing that's done outside of God and His values, really matters at all.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus urges his followers not to worry about things like food and clothing, but to pursue the things of God:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things
shall be added to you.

Hey, I'm not saying that we can't enjoy American Idol, or be vitally concerned about who wins the presidency. And indeed, everyone from a singing sensation to a victorious candidate to a ditchdigger can, and should, glorify God.

I'm just saying it's important to keep some perspective. Eternity is what really matters. I think I feel a song coming on:
It matters so little how much you may know,

The places that you've been, or the people you know

For it all comes to nothing, when placed at His feet

Its nothing to Jesus, only memories to keep.

Only one life, so soon it will pass

Only what's done for Christ will last

Only one chance to do His will

So give to Jesus all your days

Its the only life that pays

When you recall, you have but one life

--Lanny Wolfe, Only One Life

--Cindy Swanson

Visit Cindy's personal blog:

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Blogger windycindy said...

How true and Amen! Cindi

May 20, 2008 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

This is so true, thank you.

May 21, 2008 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Wonderful analogy. Thank you for sharing it.

From a fellow A.I. fan!

May 21, 2008 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

What a great reminder to keep our focus in the right place. I like your writing style.

May 21, 2008 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger lori said...

I have to tell you...what a lesson to share today with the kids as well...what is MORE important...who wins IDOL or WHO YOU ARE BECOMING to HIM...

great thoughts...I'll be sharing them with some people who live under this roof with me!!:)


May 21, 2008 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Great post.... it's so easy to get caught up in what's going on around us isn't it? I LOVE American Idol too as well as Dancing With the Stars. I had to miss both of them though as last night we traveled out of town...but they will be waiting "recorded" at home for me....

As we were driving home we were listening to a cd with William Young (the author of The Shack) telling some of his testimony and talking about the success of the book, how he had written it for his kids, with no thoughts of publishing it.... but God.....had other plans.

Just listening to him talk about his life I was reminded of how God simply amazes us with who He is. If we will stop, reflect, look,, listen....we will see HIs beauty all around us. My life is not my's His. And what a life He has planned for me.

Thanks for sharing.

May 21, 2008 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Amy B said...

WooHoo! You're talking to ME, girl! I, (David Cook fan, eh,hmm), have been receiving the same types of words from God lately. Things eternal and not temporary. Awesome, awesome post!

May 21, 2008 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Great post, Cindy!

A few years ago, God gave me this phrase, "In light of eternity, will _______ really matter?" As Christians, we can sometimes get distracted by things that don't really have an eternal value.....

I have to remind myself to keep my eyes set on what is unseen, NOT on what is seen....

Thanks for these great reminders!

May 24, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

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