A brief disclaimer to get started, i have no idea where i'm going with this.
hmm, i should probably just make that the blog heading.
i wanna talk about love. Not that i know much about it but i'm getting a real good handle these days on what it is not. And here's what i think since no one asked....
it would seem to me that most of the time i hear the word "love" used it is used in place of "enjoy the pleasure of ___". It could be a sport's team, a food or in the case of people, the pleasure of their company. "He's great! I love him!" "She's amazing! I love her! I want to be with her all the time!" "Well, we've been together a long time and we know each other in and out, good and bad and we're still in love."
Aah. Nice. That's nice.
Only one problem. i don't see that as love. It might be acceptance. It might be enjoyment. But i don't think it's love and here's why:
At it's heart, it's about you. It's about how you feel. How that person makes you feel. It's about taking. The other person may not feel a loss. They may not be losing anything to you but you are essentially just using them to feel better. When we say it like that, we know it's not loving. Taking and using are not words we think are synonymous with "love." So let me float a different definition...
Sacrificing for the good of another.
It's an action, it's generous, it's selfless, do you see how it's different? Do you see how a mother, waking up at three a.m. to a screaming infant could not enjoy the pleasure of the child's company? Does that mean she does not love the child? Heck no! Love is what propels her forward, not with a pillow to smother the noise for those who think quiet is the goal, but with her own body to comfort the child, to do good for the child even though she is tired, it hurts and she gets nothing from it. Well, little, i'm sure there are some psychological, social and spiritual benefits to suckling her baby. But at the moment i doubt that's what's running through her heart and mind. Yet she is loving. The soldier who jumps on the grenade to save his brothers, or who darts out into the street after a wounded comrade even though the bullets are flying all around him is not doing it for the pleasure of the other's company. He's not worrying about whether or not these guys are acceptable to him, whether or not he likes everything about them, he's doing what he can, giving what he has for them. And here's my last reason, love, true love, changes a person. Yes, if someone enjoys your company you might alter some schedules to be with them, you may feel pride or elation at the thought of them liking you in that way but essentially you will want to remain the same! If you change, they may not "love" you anymore! But if someone sacrifices for you! If someone gave their life for you? You may feel a bit different. You may want to honor the person, please the person, make them happy, live up to that level of sacrifice! When someone goes out on a limb for you, you want to be better! Well, at least i hope you do, maybe you don't, what do i know. Maybe you're an entitled shmoe who just thinks the world owes you. Thank you for jumping on that grenade...um, what was your name again? Oh well, really doesn't matter now anyway does it? Ta-ta.
So, given these two thoughts, these two proposed definitions, and for now, they're just my thoughts, i won't throw the Bible at you but let me ask, whom do you love? And what do you mean when you say it?