Oh boy, it was "one of those kind of runs" today when my head swirls and thoughts are overflowing...then I had to sprint to work with no time to get those thoughts onto the screen. Today was a solo run without my bride or my 4-legged canine. It was also a balmy 33F and dry roads so a little speed was set to be inserted into the run in the form of some ups and downs (aka: fartlek). I also listened to one my favorite podcasts by Chip Ingram who is currently in a series on minimalism.
Bigger, Better, Faster, More... Chip calls it the Silicon Valley Syndrome since that is where he lives. It's about always pursuing bigger "things," getting the latest and greatest (better), getting faster cars/computers/"i" devices/etc. and more....MORE!!! We all know we live in a consumer-heavy country which lives and breathes on what we have or don't have. In the end...wait for it...we get to take none of it with us. It's just us, a casket, and 6 feet of earth. So why devote so much time and energy to it?
Switching gears, let me talk about love for a moment. Love. You've heard that "money is the root of all evil." What about love? Love is the root of _______ (you fill in the blank). What spills out of love? TRUE love? To understand what love is, let me give you my own personal definition: "The act of sacrificially giving of oneself to another at no personal gain. A selfless act independent of self." No Webster's Dictionary there but rather the "RTRSBM Dictionary." :-) For me, the ultimate example of love is Christ's death on the cross. He had all the power at His fingertips yet He chose to selflessly give Himself as a sacrifice for me...for you...for us. Whether you believe in Christ or simply believe He was a good man, I hope you agree that it serves as a pretty awesome example of what love is. Interestingly, it's also why the cross is the focal object of my second tattoo. That empty cross...that sacrifice...that love shown for ME means everything to me.
So true love spills out what? It's kind of hard, given the definition I've given you, to imagine something evil coming from love. Now to my title of today's post:
ANYTHING - LOVE =
Why nothing? Well, my opinion and my offering to you today is that if it isn't rooted in love and rather rooted in self (the anti-love), it's empty. It's finite. It will come to an end. The pursuit of stuff, of wealth, of "Bigger, Better, Faster, More...", is all about self. Got it? We have to be the anti- of all of that and flip it on its head.
So here's a curve-ball of sorts. If we are focused on self and gathering more, it is impossible to not compare/contrast ourselves with others. Heck, that very comparison drives the pursuit! If we were instead focused on loving others and being thankful for what we have, the focus would switch and so would the constant comparing. It's such a viral slippery slope...this thing of comparison. Jealously, greed, unhappiness, debt...it's ugly. I'm NOT saying having nice things are bad. Not at all. However, if your heart is focused on self instead of others, will you ever truly have enough? No you won't. You won't ever have enough and you'll always be searching for more, thinking falsely that the "next great thing" should do it. News Flash! It won't. Never will.
I'll leave you with this: Pursue love. Don't know love? Well, I gave you the ultimate example of it and for me, that drives everything. It truly does. If you're searching for it, you need not look any further than that. It's a bottomless wellspring of love and I promise you, it won't ever disappoint. So next time you're considering someTHING, fact-check it. Where's the drive coming from? Is it pure or selfish? Will it truly bring contentment? These aren't easy changes to make but you've gotta start somewhere.
I've got to share my Les Miserables review with you...simply need to find time to write it! You want to see selfless? You want to see a life turned from hate to giving? You want to see JOY? Les Miserables is amazing and that's precisely what it's all about. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it but I warn you against taking your young kids...not too appropriate at times. Enjoy!