The three of them love to be the first ones at the ski lift.
Me? I prefer to have 2 or 3 Advil and 2 or 3 cups of coffee before I pull on all the clothing (which also serves as necessary padding for clumsy me) and maneuver my feet into those clunky boots. (The BEST FEELING IN THE WHOLE WORLD is taking off ski boots--nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, tops it.)
Well, as I sit here on this Valentine's morning (my sweet daddy's birthday), working on my third cup of coffee, I began thinking about this "thing" we call LOVE.
After 48 years, it remains somewhat unsearchable to me. At times, I love well. At times I don't. Loving becomes all wrapped up in HOW we have or have not experienced love. And none of us experience it in a truly perfect form in this fallen world.
That is...until we realize how much our heavenly Father loves us. As I've written in the last several posts, I loved my daddy, and I know he loved me. But, because of his illness, I often told myself, "Don't bother daddy. Don't worry daddy." (Daddy never said this to me, of course. It was something I told myself.)
During the past few years, as I've looked back, I've come to realize that for most of my life, I projected this same attitude and these same words onto my Heavenly Father. (Since then, I've learned that most people do that very same thing.)
So, God had to break this "just-handle-it-yourself" attitude. He had to get me to a place where there just was no "fixing it myself"--flat on my face on the floor crying out to Him for help.
I'm still on that journey. (It's a process--a lifelong one.) But, He's a patient Father. And, He's caused me to realize that He's just crazy about me...about you...about us. So crazy that He exchanged His Son's life for mine--and for yours.
I used to think that Jesus was the "good guy" and God was the angry Father, just waiting to pass down judgment for any little misstep. (He even patiently tolerated THAT in me.)
But then, one day, the words of a verse that I long ago memorized jumped out at me in a whole new way..."For GOD so loved..." My Heavenly Father so loved me...so loved us..."that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16, 17)
God loved...God gave...I am (we are) simply called to receive that love.
I used to feel very inadequate whenever I would read the "Love chapter" (1 Corinthians 13). I knew I didn't love that way even 1% of the time. But, then I learned that the word Paul uses for "love" in that chapter is "agape." You could simply call it "God love." In other words, that chapter tells us how God loves us. And, the only way we can ever love like that is to first receive that love from Him.
Then, it's a matter of letting Him abide in us, with us. And letting His Spirit begin to grow the "fruit" of His (agape) love in us.
As I've said...it's a process...and I still tend to slip into that "fix-it-myself" mentality when I get my eyes off Him and onto myself, but He continues to call me--to woo me--on this journey of love through this upside-down Kingdom.
I hope these words help you understand how deep the Father's agape love for you is:
"Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT)
Now, I think I'll squeeze my feet into those clunky boots and go find my three guys on the slope!
(P.S. I wonder what birthdays in heaven are like? Happy Birthday, my sweet daddy!)