What's most important, it seems that people have a lot of opinions in the world, but really it comes back to the same thing....relationship. I have watched this played out many times over. From the perspective of a younger sibling, friend, girlfriend, wife, mother of birth and adopted children it always comes back to relationship. Yet it is the one thing that we always tend to put last. All the tragedy if Florida from shootings to alligators really amplifies this in my head. Its tragic to us as a nation, but it is truly life changing for those who shared relationships with all the victims. Yet from an early age we talk about the importance of "what do you want to be when you grow up" with our kids instead of "who do you hope to be?" I have seen the devastation of a young child that doesn't have positive or consistent relationship as a baby, I have seen the tears of the child who really doesn't seem to fit in or feels like they are always wrong. They are healthy, smart, fed, growing people and yet their emotions are not satisfied until they belong relationally. I have seen my own mother at the end of her life relive all the memories she lived with her family and she wanted us all around her. I have watched my children leave everything they are accustomed too and travel across the world with strangers in hope of a place to belong. We all want to be wanted. We don't want to be something that is fit in when there is time. Children seek out relational bonds with parents and siblings, older children and teens seek out relationship with peers and older teens seek out the dating relationship. Yet again we tend to drive our children to believe that education and extracurriculars are the number one thing to focus on because that will get you a better job, more money and happiness?? I have seen kids who are busy from morning to night stressing themselves out. feeling like they haven't or can't do enough. Where does this end up? People married to their career with a family on the side? When we think back to our happiest memories rarely are they tied to moments at work (unless we work with amazing friends!) or even moments at school. So what have I learned....we have it wrong...we need to teach our children and make it a priority ourselves to love each other deeply to regularly remind those most important in our lives that they are our priority, we need to put relationship first even if it means putting work or other pursuits aside. Many things are noble things to do, but sometimes we have to ask at what cost....I can imagine all those people that lost love ones would not hesitate to do anything to bring back their loved ones and spend more time with them....so if we are here with the people we are supposed to be loving and given another day with them, why aren't we??
We are relational beings, God was very clear....money, career, sports...none of that lasts.....but those we love will be impacted forever. If I can pass one thing on to my children I hope it is that they take the time to truly love the people God has put in their lives. Accept them as they are but most important make those people your priority....make them feel like they are wanted.