They stuck to my brain like Velcro; the Bible stories, the verses, the Sunday School lessons. It wasn’t long before I felt I knew more than my teachers. When I was eight or nine I became a sponge for such things. While others were captured by Ramona and Beezus, I was reading Habakkuk and Amos. Soon folks at church began to tell me I “had a call to ministry”. I still fought with my brothers and got into more (quite a bit more) than my share of mischief, but I felt this call.
Though I had just fallen off the ‘turnip truck’ as a young Evangelist clergy would often turn to me to tell them where to find something in the Bible or to finish a quote.
I knew a lot and I knew so little. Paul writes “If… I can fathom all mysteries, and all knowledge… but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:2) It wasn’t that I lacked passion, I have never been in want of that but love is more than passion.
As Valentine’s Day comes our thoughts turn to love. Love is a verb! Love is an action. If I say “I love something or someone” only to devour it, I make myself a liar. Love requires an action!
I knew much of the Word as an eight year old but I did not yet know what it was to be a “doer of the word and not a hearer only”. I knew the Psalms but had yet to know the transforming power of the Word. I knew so much and so very little.
I thank God that he has not left me in total ignorance. He has gently, for the most part, led me to grow in knowledge, that is personal experience, of Him and his Word. Over the years I have continued this journey into Love.
God is Love and demonstrates that Love toward us in His Son. God took action. That action was love, love incarnate. He lavishes this love on us and sends us to likewise love. Our highest call remains to love God and our neighbour! This is a high calling to Christ-like activity demonstrating love both to God and to our neighbour.
I am grateful that I have the opportunity each day to actively love and in doing so I grow in love. This is the best Valentine’s gift I can give myself.
Post script: I bought my wife a bag and a belt for Valentine’s Day….. I hope the vacuum cleaner works better now!