Give me a cup of tomato basil soup and I can say ciao! like an Italian. Give me a choice of soup or salad? I’ll most often go with the greens. Give me more of what matters – when it’s “offense du jour” or I’m tempted to spit pits over split hairs.
When people take up offense over every single thing, I begin to wonder what their happiness quotient is based in. It would appear that their more of what matters when it’s “offense du jour” on the menu, is stirring the pot or slinging it around like so much hash. Apparently there’s a fleshly satisfaction in exercising one’s jerk genes.
I should know. I honed it, then I owned it, and still have to remind myself those genes are dead unless I continue to breathe life into them. There are times I (or someone near) reminds me I’m huffing and puffing a little too much over ‘stuff’. It’s very much a challenge to the best of who I am.
Anyone else know what I’m talking about when every 24 hours there’s a new (or warmed-over) “offense du jour” fresh sheet posing as the daily news? Supposing you bury your head in the news sand, there’s still little escape from more of what matters when it’s “offense du jour”.
They have your email. They know who you are on social media. They sit in the booth behind unsuspecting you as their “offense du jour” wafts steam your way. They are everywhere. People.
People like you and like me. People not like you and not like me. Ones you like and they like you (which reminds me of a local Greek restaurant’s tagline – “you love garlic, we love you” … I bet they make a mean Minestrone, no pun intended!) And the ones you don’t like who return the sentiment.
So what makes for more of what matters when it’s “offense du jour”?
If you like your soup made with broth, it’s enough to simply become offended by today’s stuff. You may fuss and slurp your opinion to no one in particular, then go back to your more of what matters, which is often the next thing on your never-ending to do list.
If you prefer a substantial gravy, there may be a propensity to feel strongly. Enough so, that you grab a ladle and start serving up heaping bowls of “offense du jour taken” to those in your like-menu’d circle. The cause and effect begins to get ‘interesting’ at this point. Tongues wag, heads shake, snorts and eye rolls abound. We may not all be good spellers, but we humans are pretty skilled with our punctuation marks.
Then there’s downright thick, like chili. Crowd-sourcing the “offense du jour” rivals the best chili cook-off ever staged. Herein lies the beans or no beans distinction: what is the foundational issue?
If you can pick through the beans to find the meaty morsels of value, worth, integrity, fairness, kindness, Christ-likeness …oh, did I say that? then I believe you are on to something. If crowd-sourcing only serves to serve a bigger helping of “offense du jour”, now you know why I’m writing this post in the first place.
Jesus shared the meat while immersed in the beans. What are we sharing?
If it’s “offense du jour” over every single thing, then we’ll be making endless pots of stew. After a while it will take on a rancid taste, like last week’s broccoli soup. People we want to influence will throw it out or stick beans in their ears.
So what is my, what is your more of what matters really about? We better know. Otherwise we might better stick a bean in it until we can clearly articulate to ourselves what we believe (ie. are up in arms about…)
And if we truly believe what we think we’re standing for, I trust we will make every effort to find a new soup recipe. Maybe something with blessing instead of cursing in the list of ingredients.
All this talk about soup is making me hungry. I’d like a salad, please. And hold the beans.
~ Gracefully Free
Note to my readers: the topic written of above is an issue in our homes, workplaces, churches, schools, businesses, gyms, bars, stores, eateries, our nation (or yours) … anywhere two or more are gathered. Which is pretty much everywhere unless you live under a rock. I bet even cows hear about it. Or corn. It has ears too you know.
Here’s the thing. Even this blog post can be fodder for “offense du jour”. I had to take some time to practice what I preach and re-articulate to myself what is my more of what matters. It’s still writing. It’s still writing scriptural truth. It’s still writing what we don’t always want to hear but is the difference between life and death in the here and now, and the there and then.
While true life requires that we who are believers in Christ die to our flesh nature, God does not diminish us to be left less than, but to be filled with more of what matters. More of His Spirit, His nature, His character, His grace and peace, joy and love. As “offense du jour” becomes less indulged, more of what matters gets moved to the front burner. I pray we’ll serve it to others as we’d have them serve us.
You can read more in the More of What Matters Series