“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” This is the first and greatest command...Mark 12:30
What if, just for a week, just for a day, just for an hour, we let go of the ‘coulds’ and ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought tos’, we resigned from the all-consuming business of image-maintenance and expectation management - we sent our religion packing? What if our focus slid from self to Savior – not out of guilt, or pretentious, pious habit, but because we like it? We like Him. We like how it feels to lift our weary busy eyes from this loud and fickle world, resting them instead on the starkly simple beauty of His holiness.
What if we softened in the Presence of our Maker? What if we allowed the stress and the tension of daily life to drip out of our shoulders and down our backs, over our shoes and down the sidewalk? What if we breathed every breath as though oxygen was laced with the potent goodness of God, lifting our chests with life, filling our souls and our lungs with the raw and utter sweetness of living? (What if we knew the sweetness of living could be so easily tasted?)
What if we enjoyed God? Not pretended to, as you do with people you chat to politely while waiting for your real friends. What if we enjoyed Him – genuinely - as though He were the friend we’d been waiting for? What if we liked to be with Him? Not to ask, not to question, not to request, not to blame, not to wrestle, not to learn, but, maybe, just to walk. To settle in to a comfortable rhythm of affection, His steps matching our own, awash in the fondness we share. To ask His opinion or laugh at a joke. To remark on the loveliness of sunset.
What if loving God was the driving force behind the whole of our existence? What if we allowed the Creative Genius behind quarks and nebulas and tiny infant noses, the Writer of every mathematical equation and the Author of every good story to tether Himself to our hearts and souls and minds and strengths? What if we became so enamored with Him, so lost in His love that the line separating our selves from His wavered and blurred, slipping into extinction with each passing day? What if our time with Him was so easy and common and frequent that we picked up His habits? Would we find His words spilling from our lips, His hands and our fingerprints reaching out to every creature around us with compassion and kindness? Would love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control flow not from us but through us, as light from a bulb or heat from a flame?
What if He was the first thought every morning and the last thought before sleep? What if we let go of our trying and fussing, our fretting and struggling with our admittedly imperfect selves and let the anxiety we bear over pleasing Him melt into simply being pleased by Him? What if we let perfect love drive out fear? What if we discovered His yoke was easy and His burden was light? What if we knew, down deep in the very darkened depths of our souls that He would never, never, never, never, never leave us or forsake us? What if we believed what God said?
Would loving Him be enough? Could we live on the sumptuous riches of God’s love, if it meant poverty in every other area of our lives? Could we have nothing and yet posses Everything? Would the knowledge of His relentless affection be worth every trial, every pain - the loss of every limb, every lover, every other pseudo-life-giving substitute we hold dear? In the light of all possible occurrences, good or bad, hedging the road from this life to the next, instead of asking, “Why?” could we simply nod, “Yes – and can I be with You?”
What if we loved God with ALL our heart and ALL our soul and ALL our mind and ALL our strength? Could the world resist Him, then? Could we?
What if we just loved God?
“If you continue to love Jesus, nothing much can go wrong with you, and I hope you may always do so.”-C.S. Lewis, Letters to Children