Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
During the COVID-19 crisis, has anyone found themselves “deep” thinking more than usual? Maybe because you have more time. Or maybe because you feel time is fleeting.
Well I for one have definitely been constantly in thought. How long will this season in life last? What have I done or what should I being doing to make the most of things? Will this change the world for the better? Will I change for the better? Who? What? Where? When? How? … and always WHY?
Why Lord? Why now? Why us? Why me?
One more specific question I started asking recently was:
Why do I find it so easy to work for my family, but a pain at times to work for my employer?
During my contemplation one day the Lord led me to this scripture. John 15:13-15. It reads:
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
As a reminder, the question was, “Why do I find it so easy to work for my family, but a pain at times to work for my employer?”. It’s not that my job is bad. In fact, I honestly like a lot of the work that I do. It’s challenging, intriguing, and pays fairly well. But working 40 hours a week interspersed between full-time parenting without vacation during a pandemic begins to take its toll.
Yet somehow I find myself genuinely desiring to help Nicole care for our daughter Brielle and take care of business at home without complaint or even want to complain. If my daughter and wife are awake and I have the capacity to be doing something to help our family, I feel like I’m missing the mark if I’m not doing just that. This is because God has begun to reveal to me what the “Greatest Love” is and what it means to show it.
Before being a father, I did care for others. I’d find ways to show love and generally exhibit good manners. But I would never consider the things I did as “laying down my life” for another. For one thing I’ve always consider that to mean dying for someone – which it does… However, I believe God also means it as casting aside your own desires to care for someone else.
This, casting aside your own desires to care for someone else, is a form of “Greatest Love”.
This is love that is truly selfless. It is love that many people will only ever somewhat experience when they have children. I say “children” and not “spouse” because most people only have to take care of their spouse some of the time, while other times their spouse can take care of themselves or may be taking care of you. But your children all start completely helpless and many times require 100% of your focus. So you must lay down your life, your desires, your time to raise them.
I say all of that to say this. You may have thought in the past that the “Greatest Love” scripture sounds good and you may have thought to yourself like I have the words, “I’d like to think I would lay down my life for him/her in a life or death situation.” But I want you to be thinking less about a life or death situations and more about what kind of love you can show right now – to God, to your spouse, to your children, to your friends. Love – the “Greatest Love” – is not just remembering to say happy birthday to someone when their day hits every year. It is not just calling someone on the phone and talking to them on occasion. It is truly giving your time, as much as they need, without hesitation.
Of course this comes with the unfortunate reality that you cannot show the Greatest Love to everyone. That is a job ONLY Jesus can do. The Greatest Love must be reserved for a few. You don’t need to be a father. You don’t need a high or profound leadership role. You only need to use the time and knowledge God has provided. The current season has been a season of change. Take this time to change the way you envision and show the Greatest Love. It is not just for life or death situations. It is a state of mind and an unrelenting relinquishment of time. It is something you should continue (or begin) to do right now.
Happy Father’s day and may you continue to be leaders in demonstrating the Greatest Love.