If life is like a Cannonball Flight, then I’m approaching the “apex” period in my own journey. At 35, now more than ever I am asking myself not just what do I want to accomplish, but what really matters in terms of what I do or don’t do? One passage that God has been bringing to my mind recently is the two commandments Jesus gave to the Pharisees when once they tested Him. He said:

“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang the Law and the Prophets.” (-Matthew 22:37-40)

I try hard to make wise choices at every turn, but most of the time I find myself sorely unprepared for all the diverse circumstances of life. I need continual discernment and direction. These commandments, though at first glance seem like a dramatic oversimplification, can help me to boil down all of my decisions to reflect two simple questions:

Is this loving toward God?
Is this loving toward those around me?
I can substitute the word “this” for anything that comes my way: a behavior, a response, a thought, a job, a relationship, a movie, a motive, a meal, a purchase, a text message, etc.

These questions are a great fall back to ask myself any time I am faced with choices. Jesus basically said all that really matters is loving God and loving people. So the issue is not so much what I do, but rather my heart behind it. All of my actions proceed from there.

“Teach me good judgement and knowledge

For I believe in Your commandments.” (-Psalm 119:66)