Happy 2017 to you all! I hope you like the simpler (and very much more mobile-friendly) new look of the site.
Over the last few months, so very many circumstances have placed the following thoughts on my heart. In a way, these thoughts are also a response to those who have suggested a host of improvements to my existence in recent days…apparently I do not have the most Instagrammable life :). Finding a new (more glamorous) job in a different (bigger) city is a common theme of these suggestions. I often struggle to articulate why I’m not using these single days to be off chasing dreams in the wild blue yonder. Please don’t get me wrong: I am profoundly appreciative of those who care enough to speak into my life, and God may very well use these kinds of questions to propel me onto a very different path in the future. I don’t want or expect things to stay the same forever; the circumstances, the station of my life could change tomorrow. The problem that I have is with the attitude that I am somehow free of commitment or call to people.
Love one another.
It’s ironic that we live in a day where the buzzword of “community” and the reality of “FOBO” compete so ruthlessly with one another. Yet Jesus kind of offended Peter with his repeated call to commitment to His sheep, His lambs, His people. People – gloriously messy people. How much easier it is to have a passion for the nameless, faceless masses than to pour into real relationships. How much more tempting to heed a call to minister to kids in South America than the kids in my little AWANA class. To demonstrate more forbearance for perfect strangers than my own family. To invest in a cause rather than interpersonal commitment. To resist the desire for “more” or “other” when my sphere seems very small indeed.
Little children, love one another.
Everything I read in God’s Word about love-lived-out points to the fact that love has staying power. Love leans in when it is terrifyingly easy to pull away. Love gets its hands dirty. Love accepts the risks of rejection and loss and disappointment and being uprooted by its exquisitely tender heartstrings. Sometimes, love is called on to say hard things. Sometimes, love is tested by mind-numbing monotony. Love dives in and does real life with real people. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it’s really, really ugly. Christ’s command doesn’t come with a caveat.
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another.
It also isn’t possible without Jesus – without whom I have no true consideration for others, no tolerance for the tests of commitment – no real capacity for love. So it is with humility, knowing that I fail sadly, so very often, that I submit that everything I read in God’s Word about love-lived-out still compels me to choose relational roots over wings.
If ye love not each other in daily communion, how can ye love God, whom ye have not seen?