What does it matter?
Many a time I’ve asked that question. What does it matter? Really?
You see, I really want my life to matter. I want the choices that I make and the life that I live to have meaning and purpose, and not just to me. I’m not talking about just personal self-fulfillment. I mean, I REALLY want it to matter that I was alive for the little blip of time that I am here, in a way that kind of echoes the question of the lawyer who confronted Jesus, “Tell me, Jesus, what do I need to do to inherit eternal life? What do I need to do in order to really matter, beyond my life today?”
I mean, so much of daily living, so much of life, is full of choices that seem to hardly matter:
What does it matter if I choose a drive-thru cheeseburger or leftover vegetable tacos for lunch today?
What does it matter if we sing this hymn or that one next Sunday
What does it matter if I am an accountant, a pastor, an attorney, or a seamstress?
What does it matter if we gather on Sunday in pews or chairs?
What does it matter if I remember my neighbor’s birthday?
Tell me, Jesus, what do I need to do? I really want it to matter.
Jesus answers: “Love God. And your neighbor as yourself.”
The tacos I brought from home are nutritious and free, which loves my body and my budget. Maybe this matters.
This hymn has words that have been used to conquer and oppress, while that one has words that have lifted up and comforted the downtrodden, choosing wisely will more honestly reflect my love of God and God’s love of all. Maybe this matters.
Our time is short, our gifts are unique, God created you and me to live and love fully and abundantly with our whole selves, and I would make an awful attorney or seamstress. Maybe this matters.
Seeing the faces of others as we worship and pray together, or holding hands in the pews where generations before have grown their faith, are ways I honor, respect and love God and my neighbors. Maybe this matters.
My neighbor hasn’t received a handwritten note in the mailbox in months, a birthday card would be a surprise and a joy! Maybe this matters.
I am convinced that it’s not an accident that Jesus left out “be a faithful member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Iowa” when he answered the lawyer’s tough question. But not because he didn’t know about and love the UCC or Iowa (it is Heaven, after all!). But because just like the lawyer who spoke to him directly, he knew we sometimes have a hard time with rules. We stretch them, we bend them, we make them fit our understanding, we work around them in protest, and we need to know what really matters.
What really matters is boldly following Jesus Christ, loving God and our neighbors and ourselves, just as he does.
Have a blessed day, that really matters!
~Brigit Stevens, Associate Conference Minister