The Most Important Thing

im·por·tant: /imˈpôrtnt/

adjective

1. of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being.

I love word etymology; the study of where words come from.  The word important comes from Latin in- “into, in” and portare “to carry” -to carry something in or inward.  So something important is something we bring in close, as in, to our hearts. Important is defined in the dictionary as: of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being. 

For nearly 17 years, I devoted my professional life to helping companion animals as a veterinary technician and then as a veterinary hospital manager because I thought it was important.  I devoted a lot of time and energy to my work. During this time in my life I also became a mom because my husband and I felt it was important to have a family.

On top of 40-50 hour work weeks, the added stress and work of babies and toddlers was added.  I wanted to be the do-it-all, have-it-all woman.  I tried to convince myself that I was a better mother because I worked.  The truth was I was giving the best of myself to everyone except the most important people in my life, my family.

On our good days, mornings were a mess of blurry-eyed rushing.  But the bad days could only be described as frantic, caffeine deprived chaos.  I was stressed, my kids were stressed, even the dog was stressed. There were many days that I would catch myself dozing off while driving to work. That scared me the most but I rarely gave myself time to think of an alternative life. I was too busy trying to be important. 

God decided I needed a wake up call.

On Good Friday (of all days) 2014, my husband and I were hit broad side at an intersection while driving to pick up our children from a sleep over.  While our 1995 extended cab truck was totaled, we were not severely hurt.  It was this collision that had God pressing me with important questions. “What if we had been riding our motorcycle that day?” Chances are we may not be alive today. 

If that day would have been my last, had I said everything I wanted to say to my kids, my husband, my family, my friends? Had I shown the people of my life what they really mean to me? Had I been a good example? Had I done everything that I wanted to do? Had I really even taken the time to think about any of this? Or have I just been too busy making a living that I was missing the really important stuff?

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

 For what can a man give in return for his soul?” -Mark 8:36-37

I’m pretty sure I already knew the answers to these questions. It was just a matter of swallowing my pride and admitting to them.  I had to face the fact that my life needed a major shift in priorities and this job wasn’t THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life. 

Later that year, I traded my professional initials; VMT, B.S., Mgr. for a SAHM (stay at home Mom) title. Oh trust me, it was hard!  After all, I loved my job and the work I did. I cared about the people I worked with and I enjoyed helping them reach their full potential, but God was putting me on His path so that I could concentrate on what is more important.  It’s been nearly 5 years since I started on this new journey and I have no regrets. 

What’s one thing you could do today to make sure the important people in your life know how you feel about them? 

Love Always, 

Gina

Gina Claeys