“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”
There’s a story of a man that woke up one morning and saw a hawk on the wind. Walked outside and never returned.
After he died he met his wife in Heaven.
She asked him why he never came home, he said “Well, the hawk kept flying”. This story can summarize so much of the human experience.
So often we trade the life we have for a life we imagine.
As the man in the story imagined a life where he’d catch the hawk as it landed; we too imagine a life in the future where everything is exactly as we want it to be.
Like the man, we fail to realize that our time spent chasing this imaginary future robs us of the very real present moment we have.
How easily we ignore our children’s pleas to play, convinced we will have time for them later. How heartbreaking it is when later comes and our children are too old for play.
This is one of many lessons we can learn from the first of the great commandments: to appreciate the gift of this present moment God has given us. When we fail to love (and trust is an integral part of love) God as commanded we begin living in the past or the future.
God’s love reminds us to forgive the wrongs done to us in the past, as well as the wrongs we have done, to keep us from being bound to the past by bitterness or regret.
God’s love also reminds us that our life is secured by hope to keep us from being bound to the future by worry and anxiety.
Of course, it is a good and godly thing to pursue a better life for ourselves and our loved ones.
Though this pursuit should always follow the guidance of Christ when He says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
So for the opening of what I intend to be a five-part series on the topic of love: let us remember to love the life we have by loving the God who gives.
Jason Shockley is an experienced evangelist and teacher passionate about uplifting others through the word of God. Contact him via email at email@example.com