Anna loves me. I know it. I know it in my bones, but more than that I see it. Demonstrated in a plethora of ways each and every day. Recently she has demonstrated this in a new way. It’s not the biggest demonstration in terms of effort, but the volume it speaks to me more than makes up for this. You see Anna is often up for work before me, and in the last few months I have found that when I finally open my eyes I see a mug of tea on my bedside table. Initially confused by this, I did wonder if this were my mana from heaven that God was directly providing for me, but of course it was Anna. The cynical amongst you might think that she was only doing this to tempt me out of bed, indeed I cannot say that that thought hasn’t crossed my mind. But my conclusion is that love not slyness is driving this kindness. Every morning when I wake up and see the mug I am reminded that Anna loves me, that she goes out of her way to show me this. It may only be a small act but the small regular acts are often the most thoughtful and the most neglected. On the mornings I wake and there is no mug I am still reminded of Anna‘s love, but I do wonder how long it will be before I see this morning cuppa as a right rather than a gift. I wonder how long it will be before I expect it and become ignorant of the love that delivers it.
God loves me. I know it. I know it in my bones, but more than that I see it. Demonstrated in a plethora of ways each and every day. Hang on. I just lied to you. I said I see it every day.
I said I know it.
It’s not that it’s not there, it is. But I have become ignorant to it. I have allowed the many examples of His love for me to become normal, to become expected. The result is that I tend not to notice when the love is present but as soon as it’s shown in an unfamiliar way then I am very aware of it. I don’t think it’s just me either, I hear people talk about ‘working out where they are with God’ and ‘not feeling it at the moment’. But love has always been part feeling part choice. Each morning when Anna gets up disappointed that I haven’t got up with her she could sulk about it, she could feel bitter, she probably doesn’t feel like loving me, yet she goes and makes me a brew. A cup of tea makes me feel loved yet the cross leaves me unmoved and unchanged. There is something deeply wrong with this picture.
But just as Anna can love me when she doesn’t feel like it, so too I can choose to act in a way that loves and honours God even when the feelings aren’t there and especially when there is a cost to me. Just as Jesus choose to die when he didn’t really want to, demonstrating His love, I can choose to put Him first, effectively dying to my selfishness. And really that’s the crux – selfishness.
It’s about time I realised it’s not all about me.