Thank you for opening and reading my first blog post on tolulopesmusings.com in a long time. Please visit the Welcome and Caveat page before you leave.
Most of us aspire to great things in the world but the aspiration and requirement Christ sets forth is simple: to love God with my whole being and to love my neighbor as myself.
By asking me to Love God with my whole being, He is asking for intimacy and affection and not mere acknowledgement and admiration. We can praise and admire God, argue on God’s behalf, attend church daily, be Pastors over thousands and move mountains with our faith yet not love God and therefore not be known by God. We have a rather high calling to intimacy and heart to heart communion with God when many of us still linger around questions of God’s existence.
The invitation to love God seems to me a glorious privilege. I am not as moved by the omnipotency of God as by the tenderness of this God who wants to be in a love relationship with me. He started wooing us before we knew him and designed the universe with Christ’s sacrificial death in mind. His grace stirs me much more than the fact that He spoke the billions of galaxies into existence and breathed life and intelligence into the sub-atomic particles and waves that constitute matter. His being God and being omnipotent makes sense and is not as much cause for wonder as His indiscriminate and scandalous love. The possibility and expectation of an intimate relationship with such a being is bigger in my world and more grounds for worship than His infinite power and wisdom.
Loving my neighbor as myself is loving myself and the human being before me right now regardless of what is “wrong” with them. This of course implies loving myself indiscriminately, showing grace to myself simply because before God I am worthy of grace, even if church-goers disagree with God. Few things are as sad as the fact that church-goers are often anything but an embodiment of the grace and love they are meant to embody. Saltless salt is very difficult to saltify.
Blocking Love from flowing to myself or to you is blocking God’s love and blocking God. And if you unlove yourself, you do not love God and cannot love your neighbor because love cannot be fragmented. It must be allowed to flow in every direction. Once it is blocked in any direction, God is blocked. And that, is hell. Lovelessness creates hell on earth and sends people to an internal hell because torment rules in a loveless heart. That is grounds for compassion. This remains abstract until one faces a situation where one suffers wrong from another human being who is neither acknowledging the wrong nor asking for forgiveness.
The invitation is not to love humanity but to love the individual before me now. The rubber meets the road in person to person interactions and situations. Once abstractions set in, it is no longer the tender love that is the nature of God. We are not designed to love crowds or groups of people neither are we designed to love concepts but persons. Love is allowing God to saturate and flow through me to another. Sin is blocking the flow. And who on earth, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, in our families should God not love?
As a Cleaner, my work (this is still work for me) is simplifying, removing clutter and getting to the heart of the matter. In the midst of so much clutter, I can not help but seek clarity and simplicity where God, myself and other persons are concerned. I do not do well with lists partly because lists are never complete. I want the One thing that is needful. The One thing around which all else revolves, in the absence of which I am adrift. That one thing is Love and it is the greatest of privileges. It means intimacy with the ineffable and mysterious I Am. All else align when Love is our way of being and dealing.