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Burnt Toast & Dropped Balls

Every so often, I am struck by the great meaninglessness of things. Sometimes, it’s my third trip to the grocery store in one week, the constant restocking of necessities. Bread. Milk. Eggs. Paper towels. Repeat.

Sometimes, it’s the empty feeling after watching your team collapse on the national stage, as happened for me with this recent Superbowl. The need for folks to assign blame to the loss leads me to ponder its meaning altogether. It’s a game. They are people who are paid money to throw and (hopefully) catch a ball to entertain a crowd of face-painted fans at varying levels of inebriation.

At the end of the day, or life, does their job matter? Does mine? Taking photographs, coming home and wiping chins, loading dishwashers, wiping tables – repeating the same mundane moments over and over.

How many long years has this cycle of life been unfurling? For me, for the generation before me, and before that, and forever.

But, before I spiral too Ecclesiastical, I remind myself of what it feels like to hold my little Asher’s hand as we cross the store parking lot – or how I can see the sinking of my daughters spirit, the downturn of her lips, the very moment I raise my voice. I remind myself that while the world may pass away, there are things that do, in fact, matter.

Our acts of kindness, matter.

Holding our tongues and lending our ears, matters.

Patience, matters.

How we respond to adversity, to sadness, to difficulty, matters.

Feeding others, physically, spiritually, matters.

The way we raise our children, matters.

How we love our spouse, matters.

Giving, loving, trusting, believing, all matter.

Whether we burn the breakfast toast beyond what our five year old deems palatable or if we drop a crucially important catch on a potentially game winning drive – do not.

And while I’m at it; winning arguments, filling bank accounts, achieving grand recognition, or accumulating anything other than a heart treasury of sweet, gentle moments here on earth – none of that matters either. You can have it, all of it. Just give me the peace of knowing that in the small moments of life, how I have responded to what I have been given was worth carrying with me into eternity.

Because in the end, that is all I will have.

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