Before this starts to sound existential or like the end of a Queen song, let me explain what I mean by nothing mattering. See, last week I had a blog post all laid out. I was going to discuss a topic (the NFL and what I see as a overreaction to something [the anthem] that is inherently there to grab your attention and earn more money being used as a moment of confrontation of what we believe America is ideally and what others experience as reality) when I received word that my wife and I would need to report to the hospital because our baby needed to come out – and soon. Our medical caretakers were very careful to stay even-keeled and speak in calm tones about what we would learn later was a fairly worrying scenario. The next day, my wife was wheeled into an operating room for an unplanned (though not “emergency”) C-section and our daughter was born.
The moment she was placed into my arms, ya’ll… I cried. I cried for this beautiful little life that had been placed into my care – her eyes open wide, soaking in the wide world around her. Our eyes met and I fell apart, filling up with love for this little girl who could do and has done nothing to earn my love, except exist. Two days later we would hear the words most parents wouldn’t wish on their worst enemies, “We’ll have to take her to the NICU.” Suddenly, our rapture was slammed into a harsh fear as I followed a nurse and my baby through back hallways into the NICU, where my baby was cared for efficiently and quickly by the nursing staff there. Two sleepless, stressful days later, we brought our little girl home.
So what really matters? For the past week, the safety of my wife and daughter. I listened to political news for the first time yesterday since being out of touch for a week and was struck by how petty, trashy, and foolish the dialogue has become. Honestly, take the leaders out of the conversation and we might be able to get somewhere, because we all have priorities and the things that really matter: family, friends, and making sure they are healthy, content, and safe. We really seem to forget that everyone else, for the most part, have these same priorities – even though they have a different idea of how to achieve them.
As far as application goes this week… just… hold your family and friends close. Remember that we all have limited time together. I have 964 Saturdays left until my little girl is college age… It seems like a lot, but last week I had 965. Focus on what really matters, and go into conversations assuming others have that same focus. Be present with your family and friends. Enjoy the quiet moments with your little one asleep on your lap listening to quiet music as she breathes gently.
Don’t let the world shift your focus.