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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Love of Life
I just love a good view of the moon as daybreaks
Now there is great consternation among many regarding those of us that believe God is a feel good love. Some of us believe that God is in each of us and a culmination of that love of all of us. We believe that wrong and wickedness is a separation from that love within and without. The concept includes the notion that nothing has ever been done that is bad, if it was done in love. Indeed that to do wrong requires us to set aside love. I have done many wrongful things in my life. I have not lived without sin. For some reason the sinning part seems to have lessened as I have grown older – interesting thought. But as I reflect as I am want to do in my second half century I cannot find one of those sins that was done in love.
Good food for thought comes from a notion that is not uncommon in our common world. “we must pick between the lessor of two evils”. That idea is not really a reflection of a reality. Because the very fact that we are contemplating which action will cause the least harm means we are trying not to act in evil. Sometimes we must move forward no matter what. Sometimes any movement will cause harm to another. Sometimes even not moving will cause harm. That is a reality. It is a reality that can cause the contemplative to become moribund and static. But it is my belief that if your actions even in this worse case scenario are done in love, that even the “harm” done will benefit the recipient. Declaring a winner and a loser benefits the winner and harms the loser, yet even the loser benefits from the experience and maybe even more so than the winner. I admit to growing as much from losses as I have from wins. The difference is often the amount of love that is in the mix. And sometimes we must thin out crops to get the highest yield.
Somewhere in the Southwest
Instrumentals don't cloud my mind with words
Love does not get in the way.
In this time on earth I still have not yet met the person without love. I read that they are out there but I have not encountered one yet. I think we generally call them psychopaths. We recognize that there is something seriously wrong with them. We recognize that they are an anomaly and not at all normal. Because of movies and films and spectacularized news accounts we think of them as capable of great evil. It would seem that is the exception within the exception but it tells us something about the absence of love. Bad things happen in the absence of love.
The day to day and the absence of love is an area worth thinking about. “I have a job to do and love is simply not a part of it”. Does a welder down at the shipyard go about his work in love? Well now, that would be entirely up to her. Certainly the task at hand does not preclude loving the work. Interactions with co-workers and supervisors does not preclude acting in love. Last time I worked in an office setting I directed my attention to the amount of time that we spent hardcore communicating solely about work and how much time we spent communicating about each other. It was kind of part of my job to know about productivity and efficiency. What I found was that what the communications were about was less important than the manner of communicating. Upbeat uplifting people left positive attitudes in their wake. Negative nasty people left resentments and negative feelings toward the task at hand. It takes no genius to figure out which is better for productivity and efficiency. People just cannot turn off their minds and feelings. (should we?) So smart management is just as focused on what is going on in their midst relating to relationships as to the job at hand. Therefor we can see that a loving attitude is a more productive attitude in general. Love is not a sidetrack or a waste of time – ever. Building each other up creates optimization and the best way to lift someone up is to let them know they are loved. All self-esteem that is worthy stems from this concept. Otherwise it is merely attached to an event and fleeting. Tell me I did something good and I am happy. Tell me I am a good person and I am joyful.
“I don’t care how you feel about it, just get it done” is counterproductive. We are not talking about “I love you man” and bro hugs. Although those may be fine. We are talking about courtesy, respect and an outward showing of caring. Real love is not a “look at me, I am loving” concept. It is a day on day on day consistency of interest in another. It is not easy, it is not fast and it most certainly is not one moment. There must be a mindset of love within us. That must be nurtured and cared for over time. We must not only feel it but condition our minds to make it the first thought and the last thought.
Lost in thought is good, lost in love is great!
Maybe God's light is love
You already have the blessing of love
Let us take a look at me for a moment. I am pretty much solitary. Given a choice I would rather take a hike alone through wilderness than attend a party. I like to stay up in my head and others interfere with that. Silence is truly golden for me. I indeed find myself coming up with reasons to be alone. Given just to the proclivities of my mind I find social interaction quite often a waste of time. Small talk makes me nervous and antsy. I share this because while it may be pervasive in my mind, there is probably a little bit of it in all of us. And in fact to be healthy we must recognize it and give it respect.
Love does not operate in a vacuum. Oh sure in solitude we can find love of nature, the arts and of being in the moment now. We can even and most importantly find and nurture that love that is most important with our God. And truth be told, we can be satisfied with that. In fact it is a good thing to make sure we set aside time for such solitary endeavors. Being with ourselves is a good thing to get comfortable with. But I am sure you can see the serious problem with taking this too far.
Love is to be shared. That is just an immutable fact. It is not just a should thing or a better thing it is a must thing. Forget what you get from others. Forget the mundane social interactions. Certainly forget the gossip. And forget how another’s knowledge and advice can have a beneficial impact on your life. Just think for a moment about that moment in which you give your love to another. Maybe just a kind ear to listen to the woes of a near stranger. Perhaps just being there and emotionally available to someone in need. Maybe if you are so blessed a helping hand to one less fortunate or in hard times. And even those wonderful times when you are there to share a moment of joy and amplify it by your mere joining in the experience. And never forget the beauty of a shared struggle.
In this sharing we are brought into the fullness of life. We become connected to the great big love that exists in all of us. There is a synergism that occurs and in that even the most jaded will find God as manifested through love. Please do the world a favor and go join in the love today.