What is expected of us and what will be the ultimate measure of our life is to love God, love our neighbor, and love our self. All the rest is wrapping. Love is therefore worth a meditation or two.
Now comes the hard part actually thinking about love. I was brought up to believe that love was an emotion, not something that could be easily controlled. What’s more I was taught love for God was an obligation, love for family was a duty, and love for our neighbor was somewhat dependent on how my neighbor treated me. Love of self was something that was selfish. This may not have been your experience, but I bet there is a ring of truth somewhere in your upbringing.
Bottom line, love wasn’t something to be worked at, it was there or it wasn’t.
Now fast forward to my present thoughts. Love is very much something that takes effort and constant attention. Our love for God grows through conversation, prayer, and attention to his creation. Consider how you develop a friendship with a neighbor. You are first introduced. over time you have conversations, you share common interests, you develop respect for his or her views even in disagreement, and after time the relationship develops into love. A love of God is much the same.
I suspect the hardest love to develop is love of self. We know all our faults and weaknesses and some we don’t like in any other human. Therefore love of self takes a lot of patience, forgiveness, and conversation.Meditation is a good way to begin the conversation with self, and to begin the process of loving oneself.
Perhaps this morning’s Pew sounds a little rambling and that is intentional. I am describing my own rambling meditation on the subject of love. How about yours?