Matter can be defined in two ways: as a noun or a verb. When used as a noun, “matter” can be used to refer to everything physical, including even the air you breathe. If something exists physically, it has matter. When used as a verb, “matter” means something completely different and so much BETTER. The verb is used to portray that something is of importance and significance although it might not actually exist in the physical world. So what’s the difference between the noun and the verb? Does it really matter? (Ha, get it? We’re clever here) Good question; let’s chat.
Last week my Heavenly Father reminded me of the difference between these two concepts of matter in a way that was strong enough to smack me in the face (very lovingly) in the middle of so many material worries. It was Wednesday and I had just left early from my third class of the day to grab some lunch before starting the first midterm of the 5 I would take between Wednesday and Thursday. On top of feeling unprepared despite my long hours of studying, I was feeling forgotten, tired, and defeated due to various circumstances (yeah, we’ll just leave it at that). As I speed-walked to grab some food before my 3-hour midterm, I was speaking with Heavenly Father through mental prayer. I begged to feel His love amidst the complete insanity that consumed my life. My stubborn faith wouldn’t budge on the fact that I would get an answer, whether the rest of the universe liked it or not.
As I grabbed my Chick-fil-A order, the employee asked if anyone would like an Oreo smoothie for free that was an extra. I obviously snatched that sucker as fast as I could, positive that this was my tender mercy from the Lord proving that He really did know and care about what was happening in my insignificant life. I triumphantly planted myself at the first table I saw and commenced to shove chicken fingers drenched in Chick-fil-A sauce down my throat as fast as possible. Around finger number two, a disabled woman in a wheelchair approached my table and asked if she could sit with me. Her hands were withered and she asked me to retrieve her lunch from the many bags hanging from the back of her powered wheelchair. It took some searching and a few attempts, but I located her lunch and was sent back to find her water bottle. I will admit that the thought briefly crossed my mind that “I don’t have time for this”, but it was quickly drowned out by a newfound, immediate, and consuming love I felt for this woman. We began to chat; her name was Danean. We spoke of her childhood memories for only a few brief minutes before I had to apologize for having to leave to take a midterm.
I walked away with the free shake in hand but carried something much more important in my heart: our Heavenly Father’s love. I had asked for a manifestation of His love in my life and He taught me that we most feel His love when we love others. I was convinced that the shake, a noun, was His love but soon realized that to serve, a verb, was truly His love. Although the rest of the day was made up of more stress, I felt calm and joyful the whole rest of the day. That sugar-heaven of a shake tasted ah-maaaa-zing for a few minutes but I just couldn’t shake the lingering happiness gained from service.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, stated it perfectly:
“I think most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing… Yet amidst the multitude of voices and choices, the humble Man of Galilee stands with hands outstretched, waiting. His is a simple message: “Come, follow me.” And He does not speak with a powerful megaphone but with a still, small voice.”
That’s why Kendall and I are here writing this blog. We’re busy college students with lives but think it’s worth the time to try to learn and grow with all of you. Sure, there will be plenty of the noun: fashion musings, recipes for delicious things, music we can’t get out of our heads, etc. However, we hope to never forget that this endeavour is really about the verb: family life, our relationship with God, and making the world a better place. So let’s do this together and learn how to appreciate the matter that surrounds us while focusing our lives daily on the things that truly matter. Welcome to a blog that’s different: MATTER.