What Matters?

What Matters? March 20, 2019

Well, here I am, late as usual, casting my weak-minded net around the internet, like Satan, looking for some trifling news to devour. In a stroke of providence, nothing too terrible seems to have happened during the night, other than regular ongoing violence around the world, and disease, and taxes. So I’m left with the vapid, shallow, warm tepid pool of Ladders.com where this morning I discovered what three things Oprah says at the beginning of every meeting.

I’m not planning to go to any meetings today. Nor am I, when in a meeting, ever called upon to, as it were, winch in the chit chat. Indeed, when I have the chance of being in a meeting of any kind I like to throw things off as much as possible by whispering irrelevant information just loudly enough to make everyone else uncomfortable and irritated. Nevertheless, I think Oprah’s method would be a fantastic way to derail every child in my sway and also to scare my friends. If I ever said any of these things with any seriousness you’ll know it is the dawn of a zombie apocalypse.

The three things she says at the beginning of every meeting are
“What is our intention for this meeting?
What’s important?
What matters?”

Ah, were it so easy! Let us skip the carefully composed agenda and just cut to the chase so we can all go away and have a coffee. Indeed, why don’t I just text you what’s important and you do it and let us not even bother to meet.

Truly, I’m going to do this with my children. When one of them careens into me to ask for something I don’t really want her to have, I will say, “What is your intention for this encounter that we’re having right now? What is important? What matters?” The child will back away sullenly and I will be spared having to hear the rambling personal desires of someone who either really wanted to tattle or really wanted a pop tart.

The thing is, you learn so much about people when they are busy telling you all the things that aren’t important and don’t really matter. That’s when we really give ourselves away. But of course, praise God, I am not wandering from meeting to meeting, making decisions about piles of money. If I were, I would certainly lean across the smooth glass table, remove my expensive spectacles, breathe deeply, center myself in the moment, and say, “Jan,” for that is a good name for someone who works for Oprah, “Jan, what matters? What really matters?” And then Jan will crumple into a puddle of anxiety because she doesn’t know what matters any more. Here she is, working for Oprah of all people.

They’re great questions though. What matters? Goodness, um, me getting out of bed in the morning and not stubbing my toe on the tragic reality of life? God being glorified? Other people being allowed to be human? Figuring out what’s for lunch before lunchtime?

How charming to bring the cosmic weight of all meaning into the smallest most inconsequential moments of decision. I will do this for the rest of the day. It’s going to be wonderful.

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