Monday, May 16, 2011

Love Lessons: a continual work in progress

As my brother is getting married this Saturday, and I am getting married 40 days from now, our family is in a bit of a tizzy right now. We have a stack of lists on the dining room table, all vaguely overlapping in content (to pack, to do here, to do there . . .), and my mother and I are constantly throwing out thoughts into the conversation that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. Needless to say, my brain is whirring. I'm shocked no one can hear it. I swear you could feel it vibrate if you put youur hand on my forehead.

In church yesterday, I was the complete opposite of focused. Nothing like. A thousand swirling wedding thoughts/plans/ideas (from Keith's and from mine), coupled with two nights of less than enough sleep. In the brief interlude between the piano's prelude and the choral introit, our moment to gather our thoughts and focus on worship, I was completely fuddled. God, I prayed, you know I'm not at all thinking about worshipping you. I don't even really want to be here now. I don't feel like singing or listening or even trying to pay attention. How can you be at all pleased in me today?

A crazy thought came into my mind. Crazy in its simplicity, its complete and embarassing obviousness to my foolish mind: Loving God is not about feeling like it. Just as learning to love Andrew is not about only acting on the love I feel, loving God is about choosing to act loving when (perhaps especially when) I don't feel like it. Huh. Like Lewis explains in The Screwtape Letters, we should be one who can look into the universe from which all trace of our God seems to have vanished -- and still obey.

Jesus doesn't say feel loving towards God with all your heart; he says "love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."

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