Been thinking a lot lately about what matters. Off the phone with my parents last night after they had a long day of expected and unexpected dr. office visits, labs, and tests, tests, tests and came out to where my husband sat, sighing. He is the church board president this year and he was gnashing over a kerfluffle that really shouldn’t be one–by his terms or mine, and yet, it is.
I know that the folk wisdom is don’t sweat the small stuff and that it is all small stuff, but sometimes, I tend to disagree. I really think it is the small stuff that people get their knickers in a knot over, more often than not. And because we deem it small stuff, we get tied up in being upset about something that someone else has told us is not worthy of our attention, our stress, our outrage. But I bet if you ask people who left your church community in the last year, you will hear as many railing about the big stuff (worship not worshipful enough, no connection, children or others not welcome) as about what some might deem small (my contribution to this event or that service was not recognized, the seats aren’t comfortable, something else I can’t think of off the top of my head).
I think we need to sweat the small stuff as well as the large, because, as the addage goes, it is all small stuff. And small inconvenience upon small transgression build large walls that are hard to tear down once set. And, isn’t the other old addage true, too: what is small to one person may be large to another. What matters, ultimately, is that we are present with each other; respectful of the difference in style, need and deed; and that we listen to what is large to someone else without the desire to minimize it in their eyes or in our own.
Like I said, I’m thinking a lot about what matters. And I’m coming to terms with the fact that what matters is, more often than not, relative.