If I speak in the tongues of men and angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind.... It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.,.. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13: 1-5, 8Remarkable how I never get beyond this passage. Did I think there was some higher goal than love? Did I think that if I read a lot of books or sacrificed enough, I would compensate for the fact that in my heart, I think I come first? Did I think love came naturally? Without love, "I am nothing" and "I gain nothing."
Just in case I thought I could check this off my list of life goals: a family vacation. After God and Tim, I don't love anyone as much as my mom, but a fly on the wall would never know it from the way I have acted over the last few days-- impatient, unkind, rude, self-seeking, easily angered.
If this passage is true, and I believe it is, than the most I could ever want for my life is to be a lover. I know I can't get there by trying to be patient, kind, self-less. Those are the evidences of real love, not the causes. I can only think of two solutions. First, to be alert, deliberately and consciously choosing others over myself. Second, and I expect this one will be substantially more effective, to let God's love for me fill and satisfy my heart to the extent that His love meets my needs and pours out in overflow to those around me.
If I go to Peru without love, I will be no more than a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Change me, Lord. I'm lost without you.