Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What is love?

What is love? This question was so eloquently poised by The Ladies Man in the mini-series broadcasted through Saturday Night Live. Love is around us constantly. Every song seems to be talking about someone who desires to be loved or in a state where they are in love. In movies, books and TV shows, our culture is trying to fill a need in us by portraying shallow, temporal lifestyles of love. Immediate, happy, joyous and ephemeral are adjectives that describe our culture's love.
As Christians we like to define ourselves because we are loved by God. In an interview several years ago, Karl Barth--one of the greatest theologians of the last century and avid scholar of the Bible-- answered the question, "What is your greatest theological thought?" Mr. Barth's reply was, "Jesus loves me this I know." "God is love", and "God so loved the world," and "love the Lord your God," are all popular quotes of the Bible. We say we are loved, we know God loves us, but do we really believe this?
What if God did not love you? What would your life be like? Would you be any different or would you notice at all? How has His love affected you? I find myself saying He loves me, or I am relying on His love, yet I live like a brat begging for love. Whether it is through knowledge, talents or gifts, it can seem easier to gain love in this world than be satisfied with God's love. I become self-sufficient in my own needs only to see my way does not meet my needs. After arriving at the end of my means, I realize I need His love.
God's love is not described as a warm summer day, with butterflies flying around, a perfect mate holding your hand as you run through the daisies. It is not described as an emotion that tingles your feet as you smile unstoppably and uncontrollably. Compassion is apart of God's love, but His love is deep, wide and vast. It does not stay with the emotion, but changes your spirit, attitude and affections. When I am confronted with His love, it humbles me rapidly. His love is not temporal, but is always there--in the best of times and in the worst of times. As I have grown closer to Him, His love has become my source of life, hope and purpose. When I forget my need for it or when I despise my brokenness apart from it, I am shown how human, feeble and frail I am.
How has God's love affected you? Has it changed you? If we are so quick to say it is His love that has changed us, do we live a life that is changed? Do you know that you cannot be separated from His love once you accept it? Do you realize it is completely free of charge and never ending? Do you realize that it is life to your body and meets your deepest need? Do not resist it, but accept it. You may stop striving now. You are loved. This life is too short to be selfish and He is too awful to resist.


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