Sometimes a word gets stuck in my mind and won’t leave until I bathe it in other words. The process of my word-mulling sometimes takes awhile, which can result in a properly aged expression—let’s say, moreover?—ready for use in blogs for older adults!
At its simplest, moreover means something like “And in addition…” That works in a Bible passage like, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Clearly the ideas before moreover needed some additional oomph. An equivalent in the world of improvisational comedy might be the phrase, “Yes, and…”, which helps the improv process to continue. “New-and-improved” might also be another way of describing moreover as a marketing tool.
Some subtle inferences accompany any use of moreover. One seems logical: “What you just heard or read was good, but these additional thoughts will provide useful depth.” That train of logic might also imply that what follows moreover has greater worth than what came before it—a hierarchy of meaning, with later ideas eclipsing previous ones.
As I move into my later decades of moreover musings, I’m sometimes bothered by the conceptual noise created by a constant barrage of additional ideas that claim greater importance than what preceded them. Political pundits, each of whom has a better viewpoint. The marks of discipleship invented by well-meaning Moreover-ians. Those who insist that evangelism—or worship or stewardship—is the all-encompassing umbrella for practical theology. (For example, “The Great Commission”, “The liturgy after the liturgy” or “Stewardship is everything you do after you say that you believe.”)
One reaction to all the jostling for ultimate moreovers in daily life might be reflected in the axiom, “Don’t sweat the small stuff—and it’s all small stuff.” This could suggest that none of us should regard much of anything as a high priority. Another do-nothing implication at the later stages in life: “You’re old enough to deserve the right to chill out.”
Besides playing with words as part of my daily work, I wrestle with the few ideals I cherish: Which definitive cause should I pursue with the vigor and time available to me? Which secondary priorities does moreover suggest that I set aside? How can I distill my search for purpose and meaning down to what’s most manageable, what’s most necessary, important or fulfilling?
Still, moreover is a good way to approach these important questions at this time in my life. Somewhere in my searchings there might be useful answers. This concept—there is more to know, believe or value—can help me sort out the noise from God’s still, small voice.
And hearing that voice, to do more than sit here and dissect words….
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