Eric's Sunday Sermon; A Loving Perspective
We can choose what we view and how we view it.
A loving perspective.
Have you ever sat down and truly pondered what it means to have a loving heart. Believe it or not acts of love are the easiest of things. We simply do the right thing. Yes we know it is easier said than done. But in truth it is easy. You simply decide on the most loving course of action and then do it. There are a million excuses for why we do not do this more often.
The fact of the matter is that it always boils down to selfishness. “I do not want to”. The scenarios are endless and the obvious causes are plentiful. Anger, fear, laziness, insecurity and vengeance are just a few to name easily. The worst above all is not a real danger at all, until it is – we do not have the time.
Think about the last justified thing you did that was not with a loving heart. Perhaps you argued to win your point. Perhaps did not help someone in obvious need, because you were too busy or you did not want to “interfere”. Just yesterday I was done shopping and in a hurry to get home to fix dinner “in time”. I saw the little old lady begin to struggle getting her groceries into her car. I justified not helping her by demanding to myself and my young son that I was just in too much of a hurry. As I was about to start my car’s ignition my son asked me why I was in too much of a hurry to help. He just plain ruined it for me. I had to get out of the car and go help. To my chagrin she was so upset with her helplessness she did not even thank me but rather grumbled and was a bit rude. So much for gratification for doing a loving thing. Then that son of mine did not say “good for you” or “way to go dad” in a real smarty pants manner he said “now don’t you feel better”. It was the easiest thing to do and I knew from the outset that it was the right thing to do. (And for those of you wondering – yes dinner was served “on time”.)
I used to view anything that even remotely sounded like rap and dislike it. Now I can listen and look for the love.
How about you?
Do you look for the love in the day to day?
Look for the love and you will find it!
The notion here goes deeper than the doing of the thing. The notion must permeate our psyche. It is not enough to act in love. Some would recognize the wonderful phrase “Works without faith is dead” and that is not really a proper quote. Look to James 2:14-26 where you will find a nice discourse on needing both the faith and the acts. My point here being that if we simply act out of a sense of duty we are missing the real juice and sweetness of love.
Here is a thought that just may help me to explain this notion. If we take any good spiritual teaching we will find that it is written in love. If we find otherwise then we should discount the teaching. That is not a complicated thought. If it is said in love and applies to our spirituality then it is worth paying some attention to. If it applies to our spirituality but is written in something other than love then we should shun it as it will lead to despair. And so here is the tricky part for us. We must then learn the lesson in love. For instance if we read scripture and come away with a thought or perceived lesson received that is not consistent with love then we read it wrong. If there are two or more possible understandings then the one with love is the correct understanding.
Some folks just do not exude love.
One of my all time favorites. What is not to love?
Perhaps our heads are shaking that this concept is at once too simple and at the same time too complicated. Let us go back to the beginning here. “A loving perspective”. How can we perceive the very teachings that guide us in faith and love with anything less than faith and love? If we perceive it with anger, fear, laziness, insecurity and vengeance then that is what we get from it. And now this my friends is how we will in return act. If we perceive our lessons as punishment for our wrongs then we begin to view the world in those terms and a hell cycle begins. If we view it in love then a love cycle begins.
This applies how? Well we just cannot put garbage in and expect love to come out. How we nourish ourselves is as important as how we nourish others. If we take the position of love, not only in how we give but also in how we receive, our cycle and actions of love become natural. Even our words become more loving.
Positive affirmations seem very funny to me. They seem almost like gobbledygook. But guess what? I use them hourly. How can one go wrong with saying over and over to oneself “I am love”? Try it you may just love the results.
A beautiful evening on a promenade.
We need to give as much as we need to receive.
We can play with fire. Most of us do it in the day to day and we do not even realize it. We put negative unloving stuff in our brain and in our hearts every hour of every day. How dare we treat ourselves so poorly? We take in hate and anger and violence and malevolence. We even build up resentments and distrust and suspicions in our own hearts. How can we spew out love when all we take in is garbage? In logical thought we reach a stumbling block here. How can we do good where it is needed if we avoid all of the negative and nasty all day long? Mustn’t we associate with evil or neglect if we are to help correct it? That is a tough one. But the answer is easy. Oh not because of any great thought coming from this author and not because of any diving providence. No the answer is easy because it takes no work on our part. We must have faith that opportunities to act in love will present themselves. And take my humble word for it. No matter how hard we try we cannot completely avoid suffering. Even if it is just in the parking lot of a grocery store.
Let me ask a tough question to ponder. In the parking lot scenario with the little old lady, who was more in need? The little old lady that needed love to help her. The hurried father who had no room to share his love? Or perhaps the young child who needed to see an act of love? I tell you in full truth that all three needed a loving perspective. And there is beauty in that. So perhaps the next time you are too busy you will take the time to breathe in and breathe out and put on your loving spectacles.
Today is a busy day, like all others it seems. So there is not enough time to do all the things we must do to keep ourselves in a loving perspective. So we have to make the time when we can to store it up. Simple mantras or beautiful music or a good friend can remind us to step back and then step up. Once we make it a habit it becomes our default position and we can tap into it easily. A loving perspective must become a way of life.
This sermon was supposed to go out yesterday. But love just got in the way and I had to play with family so I got distracted. I guess I should check my priorities ;-)