Love is a lot of little stuff that makes for an abundant life
Practice any skill and you will find that your level of performance improves. This is because the more often your brain repeats an action, the more connections it forms between neurons and the stronger those connections become. If you practice holding your attention on God, your ability to awaken yourself to awareness of him will become stronger. Constantly turn your attention to other things, and your awareness of God’s kingdom will diminish. P.93, Reflections on Breath, by Chuck Smith, Jr.
Love one another, as I have loved you…
One final word of caution and care for this month’s devotional time. Jesus didn’t call people away from life, but he did challenge us to participate in life from a new viewpoint. God didn’t berate believers to devote themselves to over-activity and religiosity, but he did call us to love one another.
Sometimes I walk into my den and find Michael and his friends curled up on the sofa, peering at his computer, probably watching a video clip that I would find totally inappropriate. But what I see is man/boys who have been hanging out in my den for so long that I once had to make sure I had the electrical outlets child-proofed. I see love.
Last night I looked over a guest list for a bridal shower for my daughter and engagement party for my son (two weddings, twice the fun!). I am continually amazed at my inattention to detail and incapacity to keep an updated address book, so the task was frustrating. But after the responsibility was accomplished, I studied the names. I saw Meredith as a toddler, playing in the backyard with Kristen, served snacks by Kathleen. I remembered Meredith patting Sandy’s tummy, bulging with who we came to know as Christine. I remember Linda brushing sand off Meredith and applying sunscreen on her back on a combined family vacation to Hilton Head. I remember Meredith, in a fit of frustration with my inadequate mothering ways cry out, “I want to talk to Miss Jean!” I remember all the ways we hold onto both our DNA family and family we are gifted with along life’s way – sometimes bonded by trauma and loss, other times by small and repetitive acts of kindness. I see love.
I remembered weekends when Scott and his buds played G.I. Joes and made a video lip syncing “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits. Or the time he tried to smuggle an Indiana Jones style whip into preschool and no one kicked him out for his hood rat ways. I remember the time we had to call 911 because his friend Ted tried to swallow a grape whole. I remember R.A. basketball and Choir trips – all made possible because key adults in our community were willing to chaperone and supervise and coach. I remember skateboarding, bike riding (and all the scrapes and bruises!) and costuming. I see love in all these memories with these lovely people – the small, the sad, the mundane. So while we are asking God to show us how we’re spending out time, let’s remember that it is in these small moments that God shows up…and so do we. Could it be that we have become so transfixed by our losses and less thans that we have missed the “re-minding” of all the ways we actually love others? We love in small ways – maybe celebrate them today! t