It started with a simple question from my 16 year old daugther, "Mom, will you promise me that before I turn 30 you will go on an 'Eat, Pray, Love" adventure with me?" (Taken from the movie "Eat, Pray, Love".) "Sure" came my immediate and honored reply, followed quickly with "But I don't like pasta", as if that had anything to do with it at all. She smiled, mentioned that I didn't have to JUST eat pasta and went on her way.
For days I have not stopped thinking about her question. Not the eating part, or even the praying part. It is the 'Loving' part that has me so deep in thought.
You see, lately I have been struggling with knowing what love is. I LOVE my family, I LOVE God, I LOVE friends, and yoga, and my puppy...I LOVE so many things. But my heart is such a mess when it comes to my husband. I can be so incredibly mean sometimes. It's like the old "Wack-a-mole" game. We will be having a nice time when all of a sudden, out of my mouth comes this mean comment. I wont see it comming and before I can stop it from popping up-there it is! So my struggle is this: What is love when you don't feel loving? Can love go away? How do you know if I love someone when I am feeling so mean towards them?
My daughters question has sent me on my own "Eat, Pray, Love" journey. Only the 'eat' is reading, studying, and ingesting Scripture. The 'pray' is "Lord, show me how to do this and what it means". And the 'love' is taking the prayers, and the Scripture and applying it to my life.
What I have learned so far is that 'Love' is not passive. It is active and to be "pursued". (1 Corinthians 14:1) Love is to be "put on" every single day just as 'compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience' are to be put on, as well as "accepting and forgiving one another" (Colossians 3:12-14) I have learned that love is not a feeling, it is a state of being "Love IS patient, love IS kind..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Most of all, I have learned that I am called, and therefore totally equipped to "Let the peace of God...control my heart." All this to say that I choose when I love, I choose when I am loving. The 'wack-a-mole' comments that come out of my mouth come out because I am not 'putting on love'. I am not 'choosing' the greatest gift, the gift that is the "perfect bond of unity".
As I travel this new 'journey' I pray for peace. The peace of God that comes when I 'put on love' even if I don't feel like it. I pray for the peace of God to rule my heart, my mind and my mouth, and that someday, way before my daughter turns 30, that I will have learned to love the way that I am called to love-without hesitation, with joy and with all of my heart!