What do we care about?

Of all the options on offer, what ought to hold our attention, be worthy of our investment, deserve our affections? So many pithy phrases seem to sum up what’s worth caring about–but really?

An article by Eugene Peterson some years ago had the intriguing title, “Teach us to care, and not to care,” and while I don’t recall the particulars of the piece, that first line has stuck with me. When I find myself getting wrapped up in a cause or a possibility or a threat, this phrase comes wafting into my mind. Is this worth caring about?

I’m not fond of prioritizing, and too often I lack the discipline necessary to make hard choices between and among options–but I’m trying to realize that not everything I encounter or consider deserves the same intensity of concern. One small advantage of getting older, I grudgingly admit, is the sheer lack of energy to get to everything; some sort of choice is necessary. But maybe that’s wisdom emerging, too, in the guise of physical limitation.

So in this day of choice–and these days when so many choices present themselves–God grant wisdom and discernment for caring about what matters.

2 thoughts on “What do we care about?

  1. Oh my

    This is something that has been out in front for a while now, refusing to move to the peripheral. Perhaps because it is part of the journey of me getting over myself, evidenced by the fact that a great deal of my caring was/is self serving to an “uncomfortable” degree.

    There also seems to be little allowance for some healthy (I believe) individuality here. Certainly there must be cares that should be corporately shared, but the tendency is so strong to take that which applies only to ourselves and apply it to life in general. That is to say, “if I care about this or that than so should you, and here is why”. Our ticket onto the bandwagon is stamped without a whimper or a thought, but the music does not sound right.

    And dare I say that the older I get the fewer things I care about? Sounds simply wicked but it’s a true story. But what I do care about these days lives in a much more passionate place as they seem to align better with my gifts (spiritual and otherwise), personality, and experiences (and I like that. Seems to make my experiences, good and bad, count for something after all). I feel I can be more true to a cause and am content to let others to theirs without a by-your-leave.

    Just a few thoughts on the matter and thanks for letting me comment as it raises more questions than for which it provides answers.
    But I care about that. Deeply.


    • Great point on individuality–that ‘herd mentality’ really can sway us into caring about stuff that just isn’t ours. And I think you’re right that the older we get the less that matters–but that what does matter really matters. Thanks!

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