I’m convinced that the most important thing in this world is people. That’s probably not a grammatically correct sentence, but it is, I believe, the truth. Let me give you a few reason why.
First, think about what “things” have had the most impact, or invoked the most change in your life. For most people, it’s a relationship. We are willing to do things we normally wouldn’t do (both good and bad) for people we care about, or people we want to care about us, or people we want to impress. Look no further than a teenager in love. They are willing to go to epic heights of stupidity simply to win the affection of someone they are crushing on at the moment. Adults have been known to do the same only with a bit more of a mature polish (sometimes) to their extreme acts of infatuation. Even better are people who are truly in love. The willing acts of sacrifice made by husbands and wives for each other or their children is inspirational. There are things we will do, not for any sum of money, fame or reward, but only because we truly care about someone.
Second, think about what loss you have suffered in life that hurts the most. Again, for many of us, it’s the loss of a relationship. It wasn’t too long ago that I suffered the loss of lots of stuff. We had a storage unit that was full of stuff and cost $75/month to keep. This was a cost we bore for a couple of years. Since we didn’t get a statement or bill in the mail each month it was kind of hard for me to remember to pay it. Finally, I had forgotten to pay the storage bill for three months straight and the company sold everything in our unit to some pawn shop for an amount of money much less than what all the things in there were worth. To my surprise the overwhelming emotion I felt was relief, like a big burden had been lifted off me. Yes, there were a few things I came to miss when I realized they had been in the storage unit and sold, but nothing that brought me to tears. Now when my grandmother passed away, that brought lots of pain and tears. To this day it hurts just a little to think about her and not being able to see her again till Heaven. I’ll bet that the loss of a relationship has had far more impact than the loss of “stuff” for most people.
Finally, nothing gives joy like knowing you touched a life. We just concluded a North American Division-Wide teacher’s convention in Nashville, TN. As much as I hate to be reminded of how old I am, it was so much fun to see kids who were in my classes or on my drama team who are grown, married, teachers themselves and some have kids of their own! You shared time and experiences together, and it had an impact on both your lives. Nothing else in life can make you feel that rich, that blessed, that joyful and hopeful. Think about it, what in your life can make you feel like that? I would gamble that it isn’t any kind of possession, but a person.
So, I say again, people are the most important thing in life. Invest your time and energy into people, the payback is far beyond any return you could get from a wall street investment. Loving others and loving God really is the only place we will find our truest joy, deepest peace, and everlasting adventure. At least, that’s been true for me…and the adventure continues 🙂