Close your eyes and join me on a visit to the land of imagination. Remember the nice older gentleman in the cardigan and comfy shoes who would take us on a trip in a trolley to the land of “make-believe”, with a king and a prince named after days of the week? The person who caused the most trouble for all in the kingdom was a grumpy “lady”, and the cat spoke only in “meows” that everyone could somehow understand. Let’s go there.
Or maybe I would rather go to my own land of “make-believe”, where my house is clean and all put together, where everything works as it should, and all of the boxes are magically unpacked, with a place found for everything. Oh, and since I am dreaming, let’s add a self-replenishing refrigerator and pantry! 🙂
Sigh. Instead as I open my eyes, I see boxes (I have seen boxes now for over two months!) and stacks of items waiting to be put away. Two more broken sprinkler heads. A floor needing a good vacuum. Weeds mocking me from the flower beds. And more boxes.
Over the last six weeks we have accomplished much at the new house. Yet so much remains to be conquered! My heart desires a finished, comfortable home. But God is teaching and stretching me, gently correcting and redirecting my heart.
You see, I love to hang out at home. In my own little corner in my own little world… But what is the most important part of my life? Relationships. Not stuff. Not being organized or clean or decorated or put together. People. Loving people. And God has been ever-so-gently reminding me of this.
So when I am given the opportunity, I am learning (still learning!) to drop everything on my to-do list and go be with someone. Or *gasp* invite them over to my messy house! Sometimes I have to say no. After all, I still have my jobs to do. Or I may already have an appointment that cannot be rescheduled. But often, I simply readjust my plan for the day, or week, and spend my time with people. And guess what? I have never regretted that choice. Not once.
Someday my house will be put into order, and I will finally have a restful and organized home again. But for now, I am going to be thankful that I am blessed with relationships and people in my life. The investment of time and love pays off in countless ways. Loving people is the single greatest thing we can do, by grace through faith in Jesus, second only to loving God Himself.
“Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘ “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’ ” ~ Matthew 22:35-40
When we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and love our neighbors as we love our own selves, the rest of the law is covered. Everything else hinges on those two things. Everything.
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” ~ 1 Peter 4:7-10
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing… For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 12-13