What Matters Most

I got cut off in traffic again.  This one was much worse.  He came so close to hitting me he was able to conveniently reach out and punch my windshield.  So throw in some road rage and bullying to boot.  Sadly, its far too common.

I also tried to pull a fork out of the drawer.  You know… a fork… in a silverware drawer in the kitchen?  What is there to say about that?  Well, I guess I kept misjudging the size of the fork or the length of the drawer, or some other law of nature, because it kept getting knocked back into the drawer.  I was in a bit of a hurry so I would start to walk away from the drawer and then, “CLANK!” still no fork in hand.  After the 4th try I decided it was time to stop and take a deep breath.

Why?  Because its moments like that, the little ones, that can send a bit of anger into my life.  The hospital lost my check.  In cases like these its not my word against theirs.  I still owe them money no matter whose fault it really is.  Every light was red on my way into work, someone ate the last doughnut, I left my keys at home, and the heat is out in my office.  It’s days and weeks like this where it is hardest to focus.

What is worse, its easiest to start making excuses.  Little pity parties just to help the day get better.  I’ll skip my diet today, I deserve a cheer me up.  An extra coffee?  sure!  I deserve one.  Was I mean to that waitress?  bah! can’t be worse than what I’ve had.  Bills due?  Tomorrow!  Kids need attention?  Tomorrow!!  Marriage needs work?  Tomorrow!!!

My goal is to start looking at that pizza above.  If you have OCD its even more difficult to see.  Ponder it for a moment.  We all know that cutting a pizza that way is just plain wrong.  There should probably be a fine!  But honestly consider… will it taste any different?  Do the cheese molecules change any?  Does the sauce die if not connected to 1/8th serving of crust?  If you were blindfolded and fed the tip of that slice, would you be able to declare, “The crust is missing from the back edge!!!!”, solely from tasting the front tip?

I don’t think you can.  And when tragedies happen, yet don’t really affect anything… what do we do?  With all that is in me I want to declare this pizza ruined, and wrong, and it should be ashamed of itself, but when I ponder what has actually happened… well, nothing.  It’s still pizza.  It still tastes the same.  It still smells the same.  It still adds just as many beautiful, loving, wonderful carbs.

And I want to apply this to every single aspect of my life because no matter how you slice it, we are still people trying to live out life together.  That guy that cut me off needs prayers.  The bank needs my patience.  The family needs my love and support, and no matter how many things seem to pile up against me, I have to start asking… does it matter?  Will any of these devastating adversaries in my life change the fact that I am a Christian?  Will any of them take away the Cross?  Were there any moments in the life of Jesus that diverted His course, changed His nature, or consumed His peace?

When we put things in the correct perspective (beneath the cross of a risen Savior), we go from, “Ewwww, who ruined this pizza??!?!?” to “mmmmm…. can I have another slice?”.   Enjoy the cheesy goodness, no matter what shape it takes, and you will be controlling your life rather than submitting to the silly circumstances that show up to rob you of your happiness.

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