When three different people send you a copy of the same book in the same week, you take note. About a month ago Sara and I were able to start reading Love Does by Bob Goff. We have found it a delightful read as Bob shares his adventures in learning to live inside of love, both for himself and for others around him.
This one paragraph really caught my eye, because I think it is the essence of transformative love. You cannot know God’s kind of love without it changing you from the inside and finding yourself a freer, kinder person in the world, not because you have to but because you’re free to be the person Jesus made you to be:
“The cool thing about taking Jesus up on His offer is that whatever controls you doesn’t anymore. People who used to be obsessed about becoming famous no longer care whether anybody knows their name. People who used to want power are willing to serve. People who used to chase money freely give it away. People who used to beg others for acceptance are now strong enough to give love.”
That’s what love does. It reshapes us from the inside. You don’t learn to love by trying to change the way you feel about these things. Instead learning to live inside the love of God changes your value systems, often while you’re least aware it is going on. I am so enjoying the things that love is reshaping in me and I’m excited to see what it will yet change as I find myself valuing more what God values.
Someone also sent the this quote from the NPR show On Being by Omid Safi about busyness:
“This disease of being ‘busy’ (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.”
It speaks into that same space. We’re not busy because the world demands it of us, we’re busy to run from ourselves and those around us as a retreat from the insecurities in our own heart. As those insecurities are cleansed by his love, you’ll find yourself far less busy. There’s no reason to be anymore and having time for the people in your life will allow you to experience the richness of real community, not just another meeting to rush off to or another responsibility to check off your list.
(Health update: For those concerned about my recovery from open-heart surgery, all continues as well as can be expected, which is a bit too slow for me. 🙂 I’m now three weeks from surgery in some pain and discomfort at times, but mostly just allowing the trauma to heal and my strength to recover. I’m walking about 4 miles per day now and will begin cardio therapy in a week or so. This has been quite a process, but filled with some lovely things God has done in the midst of it all. I’ll share those some day too. My family has been an incredible source of care and courage to get through this. For now, it is back to sleep, which seems to sneak up on me without notice and without my permission!)