20 October 2017

What really matters? Football, stock market, and mother

The advertising campaign for Godzilla (about 15 years ago) said, "Size does matter." The great monster could take out a whole city if it wanted, they alleged. The Hollywood crowd and the public were not too keen on their slogan and even less on the movie. Flop.

Others talk about education that matters or costs involved in a significant trade. The big slogan in some circles last year was "Black lives matter." Students in Australia just now are sitting their high school exams and many are alleging that "test results don't matter." 

Last night I was in Kansas City, and the team I've cheered for since about 1962, the Kansas City Chiefs, were in a tight battle with the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football. I hoped my friend with whom I'm staying would record the game at his home so I could give myself to other matters as I was speaking at an evangelists' fellowship at IHOP. In fact, I didn't even think about the game, although I mentioned it once during my talk. There's a time for everything, and last night was the time to be in the moment with the people at the fellowship.

The pastor in charge of the KCEF and I went out to dinner after the meeting, and at the restaurant were several televisions broadcasting the game, but we didn't engage with it at all, but rather stayed in very good deep conversation about our lives in Messiah. 

I returned to my friend's home and it was already late. I didn't know how to use his three remote controls to find the recording. After several attempts, I gave up. I lay back. I slept. Then this morning I awoke and gave it a go one more time. Hooray. I sorted it all out and found the recording on his DVR. He missed the opening quarter of the game and almost all the fourth quarter, but what I saw was pretty good. At the end of the recording, I was disappointed as the Chiefs were ahead, but I didn't know the final result. 

Then the newspaper arrived and I found out that our team had lost in the last few seconds of the game. Oh, no! Disappointment again!

I got online and read a bit more of the results and a bit of sadness hit me. Even so, I have a life to live, so how do I put this in perspective?

Some would say, "Don't care about football." Others will live in the continual rehashing of the game and be armchair quarterbacks re-analyzing each decision and chiding the coach or specific players for their failures which caused the loss. My question remains this morning... what really matters?
Yesterday I watched the news as the stock market went over 23,000 for the first time ever and stock analysts were talking about why this happened. Then United Airlines stock took a serious hit and fell 12% in a day and the talking heads had their opinions about such and I wondered, "What does all this really matter?" 

Matter. Substance. Stuff. One dictionary described 'matter' as coming from the 12th to 13th century in the Old French word matere which in turn came from the Latin materia matter, substance, from mater mother”. WHAT? If Mother is the root of what matters, how does that work?

Some would say I ponder too much. Maybe my own mother would say so. Still, consideration of this idea, what matters, or things that don't matter, is all about perspective and orientation. King David put things into good order as he realigned the roles of the Levites in Bible days. In 1 Chronicles in the Bible, we read this:

Now David built houses for himself in the city of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, “aNo one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the Lord chose them to carry the ark of God, and to minister to Him forever.” And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it. Then David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites; consecrate yourselves both you and your relatives, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it.  Because you did not carry it at the first, the Lord our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.” So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. and the sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders, with the poles thereon as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord. 
So it was David, with the elders of Israel and the captains over thousands, who went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with joy. 
Now David was clothed with a robe of fine linen with all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the singing with the singers. David also wore an ephod of linen. Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres. 
It happened when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and making merry; and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of God and placed it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. And he distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread and a portion of meat and a raisin cake. (chapter 15 verses 1- chapter 16.3)

Matter. What mattered to King David was not the applause of the people nor even of his wife. He wanted to fix a mistake from the past, and he chose to seek God first this time. He wanted to get things right. And get what matters to the top of his 'to do' list.

Yeshua said something about this also. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

What were the 'these things?" They were lesser in significance to the Messiah. He spoke about them earlier with "Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’"

The stuff, the matter that fills the advertising budgets of the televisions and the newspapers are what we will eat, drink or wear. Yeshua said, "They don't matter." What he meant was "Put them in an order of importance." Care about the stock market; care about your football team, even care about your mother. But worry... not a good idea.

What really matters, most of all, is to seek God first thing today and tomorrow and each day of your life. Remember Him. Ponder Him. What is God saying and doing in your life just now? What is He saying to the world? What does He want for us and our mishpochah? 

That, dear reader, is the key to abundant life. What really matters is the pleasure of God. Enjoy Him today. He won't disappoint you like the airline stock or the 11 men and the coach on the field. Even your mother will fail you at times. But God will never disappoint you if you seek Him. And know Him. And love Him. 

Thank God it's Friday. 


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