I recently came across a friend's Facebook picture album, filled with created memories of 2012 . . .thus far. It made me smile. It seemed as if each day told a story all of it's own and looked upon from an aerial view, one could assume complete serenity and satisfaction in what was depicted there in.
This may or may not be true but there was one thing I gathered as fact . . .these friends are doing something with each day given and it has been noteworthy, or capture worthy anyway.
Love is, as sung so endearingly, a many splendored thing. Love is not all roses and wine nor will it ever be completely peaceful and all together calming. Love is . . .rugged. Torn, sometimes battered, and capable of weathering storm after storm. Life and love most often go hand in hand and this earth attempts to collide the two over and over. The romance of the notion send hearts to thump and heads reeling. Spinning heels ready to dance and faces lit up in awe of the moment. Our human depiction of love is complete wonder set on fire. Passion. Passion for health, wealth, liberty, connection, unity, laughter, purpose, and endurance. All of this is truth.
We love a good romance. We also love a good tale of mother and daughter. Father and son. Grandpa and grandchild. Even best friends. Some prefer it simply mushy, others prefer it staggering and detailed. Most prefer the rollercoaster tale of win, lose, and win in the end. Very few actually are cynical enough to hope for demise or a mystery type of ending. Those, in my opinion, are the ridiculous of our society! I can't relate to their wishes in the least. I ask for a pretty bow tied at the top of every story I intake.
There is always a villain.
The villain may be human or even disguised as a disease or untreatable ailment but none the less . . .there is always a villain. We hate the villain. We ask for his defeat! We mark the minutes until we can settle into our hero/heroine's victory over evil . . .death . . .or the like. Often the effect of the "villain" is separation, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, and even pain in the characters portrayed. Again, all of this is actual.
We possess the finite minds that have created such fantasy. Such real fantasy. Oxymoronic statement, yes! Accurate depiction of reality, absolutely. All of life, love included, points to a story much bigger than our own. We have been bought with a price. Love has endured, victory has been secured, and death is conquered. There is a villain . . . He is nothing. He lost :)
There is also a Hero.
Sacrifice is one of the deepest needs that love has. Sacrifice is a bitter word. Not easily swallowed or spoken. Necessary though! And in GREAT proportions, equal to that of the love. "No greater love hath any man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends," states the apostle John in the 15th chapter and 13th verse of His account. The greatest love demands the greatest sacrifice. God did this for you. He sacrificed himself. All He had was given as an offering of sacrifice in the greatest act of love ever displayed. He did this for me. He is perfection so I don't have to be. What an amazing romance.
The woman He was after ? His bride. The church . . .aka those who put their trust in Him, confessing Him as Lord. Lord? Ruler over all, including our finite minds, pounding hearts, and our reverberating need to be defined by something in this world. Love Himself came down. Died. The love was displayed in His death but the victory was won in His resurrection! He is alive!!! How? Yeah, go ahead . . .try to figure it out. I mean, He's God. Do you question still? Open His Word, read 1 John, read Galatians, read Ruth . . .read until your heart believes. Will the story all make sense at once? Nope, probably not. That's okay, what good story never took a few glances back to figure out the plot. We still go back and watch Inception to see when the character was wearing the ring and when he wasn't (Movie reference, sorry for those who haven't seen it and are lost with that statement!). Here's a great link to a phenomenal blog post on effective Bible reading: (click me)
We try and re-create this "greatest act" over and over again but herein we find truth . . .Jesus was not an "act." History declares the reality of His sacrifice and the presence of His Spirit within each follower He has, confirms His love in what can only be described as an epic proportion. He is real. He lives in me . He lives in some of you. Some think we who believe are crazy. I dare you to try God's love! He NEVER disappoints. What fairytale on earth doesn't leave you feeling a little disdained by its' ending, as the credits roll or the acknowledgments fade? The real romance lives on. Eternity is its' home. This romance holds no fear in coercion or even wooing . . .it's a gift, without need of work or striving on the human part. Only trust. Belief.
My friends that I mentioned at the beginning do not live a perfect life. I'm sure of it. No one does. But I will say that it seems that they have found the key to living a joy filled one. They aren't sitting back watching their lives pass them by while they wait for love to hit them in the face. They are choosing to live each day as a divine depiction of God's love for them . . .a purposed life, driven to bring Him glory as displayed in their affections for one another and for everything they love: art, music, dance, laughter, stories, people . . . Jesus. They really are living out loud.
You may wonder where the connection lies between my friends described in this post and the obvious parallel between human and divine romance. I promise there is one! Haha! God's love is practical. Some of you know God's love but you don't allow it to reign in your every day life. I'm not saying, go do some really cool things with your days and then let me know when you have a FB album to prove it! HA! No way! I am asking you to evaluate. A good leader, which you've been called to be as a Christian by the way, evaluates himself and his circumstances often. Results won't come without intentional choosing to conform to God's sovereign plan set before you. Whaaaat? Yeah, sorry about that, it can get confusing. Don't let it. In other words, don't sit around and wait for the romance to sweep you off your feet. He died so that you might live . . .live out loud. Today, live for God. Tomorrow, live for God. I BELIEVE with all of my heart that the album of pictures from all of the radical happenings in your life will come to fruition without any extra thought beyond your decision to live. So live love.
If you have questions or statements about my post, feel free to comment below! Also, if you would like to know more about how I have decided to live love, click this link: My WR Blog or scroll to the top and click the World Race tab, right here on my personal blog! Blessings!