The Cadence of Life (Receiving God's love and Giving it Away)
A novel about trying to change the events of our lives for the good.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:9-12
A few years ago a friend of mine shared a secret he had learned during miles of cycling. "Don't worry about the miles per hour," Rick said. "It's the cadence that matters. If you keep the cadence above 70 or 80, no matter how steep the hills, your miles per hour will take care of itself."
What Rick told me turned out to be true. I had my bicycle computer set to always show me the Miles Per Hour. I would strain, sometimes in very hard gears, to maintain my speed even on monster hills. But eventually my legs would wear out.
However, when I changed the computer to show my cadence, I paid attention only to how many times I pedaled in a minute. If it was at least 70 times, shifting gears as needed to accommodate changes in the gradient, my miles per hour worked out better at the end of the ride. It's the key to endurance cycling.
As I think about how watching my cadence led to cycling success, I wonder if there's a cadence I can focus on that will assist me in life. I want to be able to turn the computer of my life to a cadence which can be maintained during the ups and downs of life the way Rick's suggestion kept me steady even during steep inclines in the road.
I think of Matthew 22:37-40, where Jesus gives us a focus for our lives, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Love. The Beatles had it right. All we need is Love.
Love is to be the focus of our lives. Jesus says it summarizes the entire Bible, forming a filter for our every word and deed.
As I ask the question, I get my answer.
I John 4:19: "We love because He first loved us."
God's love is the only true love. I can grind out a human love by straining at the pedals of life, but my love will wear out.
My cadence is to be His love flowing through me, as Rivers of Living Water flowing from my innermost being. (John 7:38) Receiving His love and giving it away. In spite of life's difficulties, I'm to love God first and then my neighbor, but with His love, not mine.
And Jesus tells me how to do this in John 15:9-12.
- Know how much Jesus loves me. Verse 9 says He loves me as much as God loves Him. The essence of this truth is beyond my understanding, yet Jesus tells me it's true.
- Remain in His great love. Verse 10 commands me to stay, tarry, abide in God's great love for me, not moving from where God has placed me in the love of Christ.
- Love as I have loved you. Verses 10 and 12 tell me how to remain in His love. I'm to be caught up in the cadence of loving others as He has loved me, allowing His love to flow through me to others.
- My joy is completed. Jesus says when I know his love, remain in it and love others as He has loved me, I will have His joy, fulfilling all my inner longings.
Receiving His love and giving it away.
Lord, thank you for showing me the great focus of my life, knowing your great love, remaining in it and loving others with it. I need you to maintain this as my focus. I so easily shift into a mode of worrying about all that has to be done.
Yet, I know now that by receiving your love and giving away it away, all you need me to accomplish will get done. I believe this, yet I forget it so easily. Please help me live out this cadence of love moment by moment and day by day. Amen.