This Thing Called Love
A poet once wrote, “To love is to live, and to live is to love.” That may be true, but what does it mean? The poet never defined his terms. What is this thing called “love”?
Probably no other dimension of human experience has been pondered, discussed, debated, analyzed, and dreamed about more than the nature of true love. Love is everywhere—in our songs and in our books, on our televisions and on our movie screens. Talk of love is always on the tips of our tongues, never far from our thoughts or our conversation.
Yet, for all our thinking and talking, for all our discussing and debating, how many of us truly understand love? Do we really know what true love is? Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, a 17th-century French author and moralist, made an astute observation when he wrote, “True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.”
Where can we turn for genuine knowledge in matters of true love? The world offers many different concepts of love, but are they reliable? Western popular culture tends to equate love with warm feelings, physical attraction, and sexual activity. This view of love is hammered into our brains every day through the books and magazines we read, the songs we listen to, and the movies and television shows we watch. The epidemic of broken relationships, failed marriages, and sundered families that characterize so much of our modern society should tell us that something is terribly wrong with the way we look at love. The best way to learn anything is to consult an expert. If we wish to improve our golf game, we go to a golf pro; if we desire to play the piano, we study under a qualified teacher. Who is the expert on love? No one understands love better than God. Not only did God create love and establish it as a central foundation stone of human experience, but according to the Bible, God Himself is love (see 1 Jn. 4:8,16). Love defines God’s very nature.
Sent from Prophet Timothy v Shockley Sr
Everything is seasonal. No matter where you live, the seasons come and go—summer, autumn, winter, and spring. In different regions of the world, those seasons look quite different, but each season always has some positive aspects and some negative aspects. The view from your window may be green or brown or white. The temperature may be hot or cold. The weather may be cloudy and rainy or clear and dry. To a large extent, those are seasonal differences.
People are always looking forward with expectation to the next season or the next one after that, and they are glad when they get there. Farmers, fishermen, and other people who work outdoors probably have the best appreciation for the reality of seasonal change, but all of us are completely familiar with seasonal patterns.
Human life seems to be seasonal as well. Looking at the broad scope, we observe that birth and infancy are like the seedtime and new growth of spring. We talk about youth and young adulthood as being like a long fruitful summer season. Middle age is compared to autumn, when everything is ripe for harvest and summer’s growth begins to slow down. Old age is very much like winter, but even in winter there is beauty and hard-won wisdom—and the very real hope of new life.
In the ups and downs of our individual lives, we see that each of our years has seasons too. Seasons of busy activity give way to seasons of rest. Seasons of serenity alternate alternate with seasons of trouble. Seasons of calm are shattered by seasons of crisis. Sometimes we move from one season to another fairly quickly, but other times it seems to happen with agonizing slowness.
Within each life, there is an ebb and flow that is as certain as the tide, whether the person’s life has very little trouble in it or whether the person seems to barely survive one calamity after another. Our lives move in and out. And just as nobody on the face of the earth is immune from crisis, so also nobody suffers in high crisis mode forever. Always Turning
Some people do not like change. But even those people realize that seasonal change has many benefits. They understand that the earth needs a rest between growing seasons. It needs to gather nutrients and become ready for the coming growing season. They understand that times of plenty, while they may be followed by times of lack, will be followed again in due time by more seasons of plenty. They appreciate the different kinds of beauty that accompany each of the seasons.
God is the one who established the seasons of the year. He is the one who created climate differences. He made the tropics, and He made Antarctica. He made the oceans, and He made the mountains. He is the founding Father of seasonal change.
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, we read this familiar statement. You can replace the word time with the word season throughout: There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace
Sent from my iPad