Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
Love. That was the last word my father spoke on his deathbed whispering it slowly as if he had found the secret to life and was passing it on to us. Love. The word is so simple. It’s the living it out that’s so hard.
When I look the word up in the thesaurus it suggests, darling, affection, adore, like. 1 Corinthians 13 also describes love: love never gives up. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut. Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Puts up with anything. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best, never looks back but keeps going to the end.
The way of love is perhaps the litmus test for all our actions. Did we act out of love? Are we rooted in love? Do we love ourselves so that we can love others?
As I grow into middle age, I find myself often asking myself, whether I’ m living my life the way I ‘m invited to? Something inside of me wants to leave my mark on the world, like a dog leaves his scent on every tree he walks by. But I’ m realizing I’m not going to be a Gandhi or a Pope John Paul II. I’ m going to live a common ordinary life. And something inside of me is unsettled about that.
I realize God didn’t appoint me as the next savior of the universe (fortunately) but I want to live a life that matters. I want to be able to say at the end of my life just like my father did, that I learned how to love, that I loved extravagantly.
Maybe rather than changing the world, all I need to do is change myself and check myself to see if I’ m living a life marked by love. Did I love? Perhaps that is the only question I need to focus upon. A question I will spend the rest of my life learning to answer until my dying breath.
Game Plan: What does it mean to love and to be loved? Could life be as simple as loving extravagantly?