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Cancer, Family life, Personal living

The 3 Things That Matter the Most

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I used to be pretty high-strung. Used to be.

Four years ago I went through cancer. That tends to change the way you view the world, the way you view yourself and your place in the world, and the way you view God and His place in your life.

It changes your perspective, your values. It’s one of those before and after events. Everything is now “before cancer” or “after cancer.”

One of the things my battle did for me was cause me to evaluate the difference between those things in life that seem like they matter and the things that really do matter. As a result, I discovered there was a lot of worry, strife, anger, frustration, and discouragement that didn’t need to be there. I’d gotten caught up too many times in those things that seemed like they mattered.

And life was too short for that.

I’ve boiled everything down to three areas that are most important to me, the things that matter the most. If something doesn’t fit into one of these categories it’s probably not worth losing sleep over.

Here they are:

1. My faith. My walk with God is the most important thing because if that isn’t right nothing else will be. Trust me, I know that from personal experience and lots of it.

2. My family. When the world is falling down around me, when I’m despised, rejected, when I feel like a total failure, when I mess up royally, I know my family will always be there to welcome me and love me. If it has to do with my family, it matters.

3. My integrity. It’s who I am. Really. It affects how I do my job(s), how I treat others, how I respond to the garbage the world throws at me. My motives and how I flesh those motives out. How others percieve me. I’ve made it a goal to pray every morning, “Lord, today, keep me from evil.” Not necessarily keep evil from reaching me, but keep me from doing evil.

So that’s it. The big three. Now, I fully understand that just because I post these here doesn’t mean I’m faithful to these three all the time. No way. I lose my way often. But this short list is my north star bringing me back to sanity and that place of perspective and focus.

What are the things that matter most to you?


About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.


6 thoughts on “The 3 Things That Matter the Most

  1. I totally agree with you. Cancer gives you a new perspective. I still have deadlines and budgets at work, still feel frustrated when the car won’t start, still have to be concerned about my 401K…but in the grand scheme of things, they don’t even come close to my concern about my walk with the Lord or whether I’ve been a good husband and father.

    Posted by Tom Leckrone | May 18, 2012, 7:01 am
  2. i felt tears as i read this. i do not know cancer. please don’t hear me pretending that i know of that kind of fear. and difficulty. i don’t.

    but i do have a place in time. frozen into a before and after. a place where innocence was taken. something that isn’t really understood until you no longer have it. you still see it around you, but it is no longer yours.

    and it’s because of that…that i have learned. nono. am learnING. what IS important. what really matters. and the list is short.

    My family.
    And His purpose for me here, that will outlive me.

    Posted by cindy | May 18, 2012, 8:26 am
    • You know, Cindy, after reading my post over again I thought a better word for integrity would have been “fingerprints.” Meaning, the fingerprints I leave on the lives of others, the way my life touches the lives of those around me. Your list is spot on. The eternal perspective.

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | May 18, 2012, 9:09 am
  3. While I’ve never experience cancer first hand, I went through the experience with my husband of 44 years. As I sat by his bedside in Hershey’s SICU, the only thing that mattered was seeing him whole and healthy once again. Very near death after having his throat and part of his stomach removed, I remembered cancer as being my greatest fear. It was the one thing I didn’t think we could survive. Now four years later with his health restored, I can say we faced my greatest fear not only surviving, but now thriving. Like yourself, life came down to the basics, God, family, us. I wish I could say this made us closer, that he became more sensitive, but that’s not the case. I do thank God that His presence was very real to me through the entire ordeal. Without that, I would not have made it. I am amazed by God’s grace and faithfulness.

    Posted by Debbie | May 19, 2012, 4:44 pm

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