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Kerry Scott Baldwin

Kerry Scott Baldwin

If you could boil down all the things that you deal with, what’s most important to you? What really matters in your life?

I was recently going through my past Thursday Pulpit columns. Looking at the dates, I realized that I’ve been writing them for 20 years (almost to the month!). In fact, I’m the only Pulpit contributor from 1997 still writing.

The first article I ever wrote was from New Zealand, where I served as a youth pastor. “That’s What I Reckon” was about the differences and similarities in the Kiwi culture compared to ours … And of course Jesus!

My second article was titled, “Everything Matters.” To summarize it – God is with us in the everyday, everything matters because everything matters.

Ten years later in the summer of 2007, I wrote, “Everything Still Matters.” So another 10 years later and in the spirit of summer sequels, I’m adapting and writing Part III.

Don’t ever be fooled or persuaded by someone who says, “It doesn’t matter … ” Everything does matter.

Isn’t the human brain the most amazing creation ever? Technological wonder! To call the brain a computer (Intel inside) would almost be an insult, since humans developed computers.

And isn’t it true that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? Input equals output! Every decision we make affects our lives for the good or the bad or the ugly.

Everything we do, say, watch, hear, smell, touch, eat or drink becomes a permanent file in our God-created brains. Sure the file can be hidden in some back corner of the brain, but it’s still there. It is very important to remember this and to weigh our decisions carefully whether a certain “something” deserves an undeletable file forever in our heads.

You may have some files that you’d rather not have permanently stored. We all do. We call them “learning experiences.” But I’m sure many could have done without the learning and would have opted differently if given another chance. Fortunately God gives us limitless chances (1 John 1:9). Unfortunately, bad decisions can often have a “snowball effect” and turn into habits. Habits, good and/or bad, form our lives! So what are your habits?

Let’s say we live to be 78 years old. That’s 28,470 days. Some live more, some substantially less. Are we making these days count? Good decisions? We never know when today will be our last. Do we treat each day like it could be?

Unfortunately, planet Earth has a 100 percent death rate. Those aren’t good odds. There are so many tragedies, illnesses and accidents. Simply watch the headlines on the news.

Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Why then do we ever put Jesus on the back burner? Maybe it’s just easier to treat life’s problems with temporary fixes. Could we be too self-reliant?

In “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis describes humans trying everything in the encyclopedia to fill the God-shaped hole in their hearts. When we want to find the permanent solution, Jesus is the answer. “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son,” says 1 John 5:11. Eternity! His love is everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 103).

Allow Jesus to lead in your life and in your decision-making. Habits can change with effort. Form your habits with heartfelt prayer. Pray about your decisions anytime, anywhere. Listen to the still, small voice. In Mark 10:21, Jesus invites us to “Come, take up the cross and follow me.”

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our heart and we are never, ever the same.”

Be a difference maker for Jesus. You have your life to live and all your love to give. Leave some footprints! Everything matters. Really.

Kerry Scott Baldwin is an elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.