Have you ever wished you could talk to God? I have. I’ve been open before about how my brain (or, more accurately, my pride) gets in the way of my belief. Chapter 22 of the gospel according to Matthew (the Greatest Commandment) satisfies that desire for me a bit. It’s exactly the conversation I would want to have with Jesus. It’s exactly the question I would ask him if I got the chance.
It would sound like this coming from me: “Hey, Jesus! Man! You look different than I expected. Anyway, I have a question. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the things I am supposed to do. And, you know I’m an all or nothing person! So, when I fail at things it makes me not even want to try. Do you have any tips? Like, if you had to tell me ONE thing—the most important part of this whole disciple thing—what would it be?”
Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
That’s it. When you get overwhelmed at all of the mistakes you make, remember those words. When this whole Christianity thing feels overwhelmingly hard, remember: it all goes back to love. Your neighbor is that girl that annoys you, your parent that doesn’t meet your expectations, that 3 year old that cries if the wind blows too hard.
Everyone you encounter is your neighbor. Everyone. And, if you worry that you don’t love Him enough, stop that right now. Now. Because guess what? You do. Wanna know how I know? Here’s a quote from my favorite book of all time: “How often I have heard the objection, “I tell Jesus that I love him, but I don’t feel it. It seems to me that I am not being sincere.” Not to doubt that you love Him when you feel cold and arid demands great faith, the forgetting of yourself, and a true understanding of sanctity. Love is not sensible piety. Never forget this distinction. Holiness is the disposition of the soul, of the heart, and, above all, of the will, toward God; the senses may play a role, but that is not necessary.” -Fr Jean C J d’Elbee (I Believe In Love)
(Featured Image by Aaron Burden)