Monday, March 21, 2005

LIP 13:4 LIK

It's just a simple reminder; not a cryptic password for a video game level or an entry code for a free I Tunes song file. It's just a simple reminder for me - and one that I've placed in prominent places in my home, placed in my wallet and taped a small reminder on the monitor of my HP notebook. I've even gone as far as writing it on each bill I receive and place in my wallet. That way when I pull out the bills for some particular payment, it's just one more reminder. You may have even noticed it at the end of one of my emails. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Love will make us do such crazy things in Life, won't it? These so-called "crazy things" often times are directed at the very heart of our life - our loved ones, our passions, our yearnings. We may walk to the ends of the world to help a friend and we may chase the stars to grasp our dream. We may change directions in our journey to walk side-by-side with a soulmate and we may very well sacrifice our own life for the benefit of others. Crazy? Yes, some might think, but they are very noble acts as well.

But Love is not completely nurtured by our grand actions and deeds - those crazy things. It is also continually nourished by the less crazy things; the day-to-day responsibilities and cordialities. It is these less crazy things we tend to place in the category of general generosity. Saying "thank you" and meaning it, concern for another's well-being at a particular moment, a warm touch or kind word - those instances when it doesn't seem like Love, but more of common courtesy. But don't let those instances fool you. Love is very much present there as well.

For me, I think I have a pretty good handle of the crazy things of Love and would do anything for my wife, children, family and friends. But like most people, it's the day-t0-day responsibilities and cordialities of Love where I think I need some work. Especially in the category of patience. At present, being a stay-at-home father of triplets and a seven-year-old boy can be crazy enough. Add in the laundry, finances, home/auto upkeep, cooking, cleaning, etc., and there seems to be less and less time for personal well-being. It is probably that way for each us in our own life - it's not the grand crazy things that drive us crazy, it's the little day-to-day things. Because of this, I sometimes become impatient - with my wife Di, my children, but most especially with myself (which then tends to flow back out on to the family). I try to remind myself that these day-to-day tasks and responsibilities are small acts of love... but that only lasts so long. And it was shortly after admitting this to myself, that I rediscovered "it" in a whole new light...

Regardless of your religious upbringing, you might very well have heard one of the most famous definitions of Love at a friend's or relative's wedding. It is a short but powerful excerpt from the Bible: Corinthians 13:4-7. It is comprised of three sentences. The first sentence lists two definitions of what Love is and the next sentence lists eight definitions of what Love isn't. And it is here where I've now finally caught up to myself in the story...

If you were to ask me what Love is, I probably would have blurted out immediately, "Forgiveness!" But after being at home for almost a year and a half, I would now say, "Love is patience and understanding." And there in Corinthians, it is not faithfulness nor honesty nor goodness that is listed as the first definition. Sure enough, it is PATIENCE. Author's coincidence or random selection? Perhaps, but I would like to think there was intentionality in the selection and placement in these three short sentences. And the very first two are "Love is patient, love is kind." Hence, the symbol:

LIP 13:4 LIK

A simple reminder to me (and possibly, you?) that beyond all the crazy things we'll do for Love, there is still room for a little more patience and kindness in our day.

hoedl's haven
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