The Greatest Commandment
A friend of mine invited me into her home when I was dropping something off today so that I could see her mess and not feel bad about mine. She is a stay-at-home mom, and also a former 20-year career person who worked long hours, and we have commiserated about what it is like to make that transition. Recently I was venting to her about life now that I'm back at work, and so today she took the opportunity to make me feel much better!
I am so rich in wonderful people in my life! She is someone I think could be a very close friend, if I took the time for that friendship, and as an added bonus, my husband even likes her! (I am very lucky that he likes my friend Barb too!) And I have so many connections right now that are so precious to me!
As I did a few hours of housework and listened to a play-list that included all my music (so Mozart and Chopin mixed with AC/DC and Aerosmith and John Michael Talbot and Rich Mullins and Eric Clapton and James Taylor and U2 and James Blunt and Fergie and many many other genres and artists) I was struck again by my very-full very-rich life. But the reason I am happy is not the stuff or the opportunities or even the music and books and freedom . . .
The reason I am so happy is the people in my life, including the 3 persons of the Triune God.
We always look at "the greatest commandment" (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself) as if it were just a prescription for good ethics and for pleasing God.
The truth is this: Abundant Life is found through our relationships with God, each other, nature, and our own selves, and "the greatest commandment" is not so much a prescription for righteousness as a prescription for happiness. Of course, sometimes we are more conscious of that happiness than at other times, and sometimes there is a cost to our own agendas for that happiness, and sometimes we have hardships in our lives that obscure that happiness with grief . . .
But sometimes everything falls into place at the right moment, and there is just happiness.
I had a hard time understanding the concept of Loving God with all my heart even above family and it wasn't until comming to the end of myself that I finally "got it". He then becomes the rock I arrange my life upon and the solid joy within grows. Yes Happiness will come and go, but His Love and True Joy will never change.
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