LOL. I am the kind of guy who will laugh at my own jokes, chuckle at the silly things, and leave a wake of damage behind me in the process. That last statement might be a bit odd, but I am referring to a character trait that I have, and I have friends who have it, that at times would cause us to drive forward in life, have a grand ‘ol time, not paying attention to the details that matter more to those around us.
I have been guilty of living this way around my wife, for the 31 years that we have been dating, or 22 of marriage. Recently, I had something that came very clearly into focus that made me stop and think, “are you really loving her, and those other people who are in this situation, the way God has asked you to love?” and my answer was no. And the only reason why it was no, was because I hadn’t stopped and paused long enough to consider how they would feel in this moment.
It is my like of empathy for sadness or worry, or concern that tends to be my biggest issue. Come to my stress workshop, and listen to me highlight that once you have completely killed expectation, and you become more ready for anything, that you then should look away from stress as a problem, but instead look at it as a path towards growth and development. Sounds easy when I say it, but I often see it in the looks of those around me, it sounds impossible to those around me.
So on I go, thinking about how we should trust God, run forward, and laugh it all off. And though I truly believe we need to take that approach, I also know that we need to pause, and consider how well we are loving those around us… take their hands, and then lead them forward on the path of comfort, with love.
God’s great commandments… love Him and love others. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Love others by not doing wrong to them… the “Do Nots” of the ten commandments are really just clear paths to showing love to others. So why focus on what not to do, when we really need to just focus on others? I guess the list helps us in times like this, when we stop and reflect. We can take the list and say, “Hey, I better get this right first and foremost, because if I can’t get the list right, then how can I take somebody by the shoulders, and pull them into an embrace, and say “I love you”, while we are failing the basic list of commandments?” It is a good question to ask yourself.
Now here is the tricky part. As you begin to imagine yourself doing that, and demonstrating this love. I want you to change the person in your mind, and now imagine somebody who your actions might recently suggest you do NOT love this person the way God has called you to… picture that person in your embrace. And from there you can begin to excavate towards the love that we are talking about, the kind that treats others the way you want to be treated.
Let me finish this by saying this. Summer time is a time of incredible distraction. We are busy, we are running around, even as I write this I would normally be in the office by now, but I had other things to take care of this morning for the mission trip I am going on with Brooke. Life is a mess… and we often let the mess get in our way, get in the way of being the person we want to be. I for one, want to be intentional about my choices, and stop and pause more often to consider, “how well am I loving… everybody?”
Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E