what matters...

in the book THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd, August (a wise Southern beekeeper woman)  lives with her two sisters in a Pepto-Bismol pink colored house. The house is that color because August’s sister May chose it (since it made her happy), and rather than fight the choice, August says to Lily (the book’s main character):

“You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart - now that matters. The whole problem with people is … they know what matters, but they don’t choose it… . The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.”

I wonder how much more balanced my life would be if I just thought about this every time I had choices to make about what to do with my time. If I always chose what matters over everything else. i seem to always be fixated on the pink house and getting it repainted over the more important issues in my life.

This week what mattered was Vacation Bible School. i tried to convince my self that i needed a week off, i had gone on choir tour after all, certainly Jesus was WELL aware of my service level that week. but i figured out that what matters was that i was at vbs, maybe not for the kids, but for myself.

you see, i fell in love with my church family during vbs a few years ago. when we move to tallahassee, i was NOT going to go to first baptist church and that was that. but i did want my children to go to vbs and so i helped with the vbs at first baptist since i had grown up at that church (no comments about the “growing up” part, suffice it to say, i got taller at the church if not more mature.) anyway, i fell in love with the church family that week, all working together, the way those wonderful women who had spoken Jesus in my life when i was young were STILL speaking Jesus into children’s lives. i loved the ladies serving snacks all day to the workers. i loved the children’s pastor, miss rhonda. i loved it all. and i still LOVE vbs week and love being there and being a small part of it and running dismissal (nothing says joy like sending kids HOME from vbs at the end of the day). this year i got to take pictures and make a slideshow- you know that was the bomb! and may i say that my slideshow was a staggering work of genius! 

and i think, no i KNOW, vbs is one of the thing that matters. a pink house may not matter, but a child hearing that Jesus loves them and died for them matters. a child hearing that we need to obey God, love others, and share with others matters. me saying those words over and over until maybe my hardened heart not only receives them afresh, but believes those words and ACTS upon them matters. working the fields side by side with friends and cousins and sisters in my church family matters. 

staying home and organizing my pantry doesn’t matter for eternity, it will wait. salvation is here NOW for children, for workers, for me. it was time for me to love my church family and to serve with them. that is what matters today.