I've puzzled over this phrase since Tom(1) first said it. "Live loved to live loving and love living."(2) It has been as difficult to memorize as nursery rhymes like, "How much wood could a wood-chuck chuck if a wood-chuck could chuck wood." But I think I've got it down now, at least saying it. Living it is going to be the adventure of a lifetime.
What does one do to "Live Loved" and why is it so important? Is there a formula to make it happen? Perhaps a 40-day venture of some sort? Maybe a Bible-study or a fast? Or stand on one leg and chant a mantra about Jesus? Maybe, hopefully, its a bit easier. (Would God really make something so important so simple?).
The men advocating this living loved thing have a few years on me, and a similar history to mine of making things happen by their will, work ethic and manipulation (it's what we resort to when our insatiable egos demand to be fed). But, they've abandoned the planned and controlled life in favor of God's plan to for them to experience His unconditional love and joy through real relationship and surrender to His daily nudges to give love to others. They have my attention. I'm all ears.
I told God today that I appreciate all that He has orchestrated to give me an opportunity to come to the end of myself. Tastes of success early on threatened to addict me to activity in His name, but knowing that, He took it away as any good parent would do when they see their child inordinately impressed with a toy, activity or a friend. The opportunity in the wilderness of silence and inactivity is to simply enjoy relationship with Him in a way that isn't adulterated by concern or desire about what He can do or what He can give. With that in mind, I want the desert to last as long and be as uncomfortable as it needs to be. I really do want to learn to be content in all circumstances, and no longer subject to the undulations of happiness and pain that are mediated by "success" and "failure".
What is success, after all? Micah 6:8 comes to mind, "To give mercy, do justly and walk humbly with my God." To walk humbly with my God. Back to the garden; walking humbly with our God.
Lord, please continue to orchestrate our lives in way that we can get You. What might it profit us to gain the whole world and lose our souls? Nothing. You are the pearl of great price. You are everything, and I simply want to know you.
Continuing down the road, Jeff
1. Tom Wymore, one of my spiritual dads, www.tomwymore.blogspot.com
2. Wayne Jacobsen, www.lifestream.org, www.thegodjourney.com.
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