I’ve often pondered how I can help our community, our state, our country progress towards true liberty and freedom, true happiness and fulfillment. I don’t consider myself separate from others, no matter what they think of me. I see everyone as my brother and sister. I feel compelled to help them. What little resources I have I try to find the best way to spend it for their service.
I won’t recount all the things I’ve tried and all the successes and failures I’ve had. Suffice it to say, there have been successes and there have been failures. I have seen that I have been a help, but other times I have hindered. Nevertheless, I will keep on trying.
What is ailing us? We need to be careful to separate cause and effect. We can talk about all the effects, but to do so we may miss the cause. We cannot do anything about the effects anyway, if we do not discover the cause and change it. And so I’ve pondered and thought and prayed for many years to understand the cause. I think I have finally found the answer.
It is love.
We are failing as a country because we have forgotten how to love. We don’t even know what that word means anymore. In our culture, it has been transformed and perverted such that it doesn’t mean what it used to mean. I would use another word, charity, to describe the idea, but even then that has lost its original meaning and now means something that it inspired others to do, but no longer the inspiration of it.
If I were to use three words, I would call it the “love of God” or the “love of Christ”. Either way, it is the same.
Even then, how many understand the true depth and capacity of God’s love? I have barely scratched the surface, and I am continually amazed at how deep it goes. We cannot know God’s mind nor can we even feel what is in his heart to a fraction of what it truly is, but from what we do know, it is enough to give us more than what we need.
Love doesn’t begin. It is a gift. It is given. A child that shows love shows it because his parents gave it to him. If his parents didn’t give it to him, he receives it from some other source. Woe to the child that never had love, that never experienced it! How can he learn it? It cannot be done.
Love is more than a feeling. It is an action, a choice. It is a motivation to action, and the action itself, and the results of the action. Love is a lifestyle. Love encompasses all.
If we knew what that love was, and felt it and experienced it and shared it and lived it — all of our society’s problems would disappear. But how?
There is no other way to learn that love than through the examplar of God’s love, Jesus Christ. Only be studying and following Him can we hope to approach that love. There really is no other way. We cannot gain love through intellectual pursuits. We cannot gain it through shouting or fighting or meditation. We can’t gain it any way except through Him and Him alone.
And so we begin.
The first lesson in love is our very lives. The fact that we draw breath is a sign of God’s love for us. He is giving us another chance to do something good. If we have done something wrong, he tells us we can change and try again. Every moment you are alive, allow yourself to feel God’s love for you, no matter what circumstances you are in.
See, this life is a gift. From what I understand, we are here on this earth because God wants us to experience it for ourselves. He knew we would come down here and do terrible things to each other, and experience those terrible things. He knew eventually we would die. He knew this yet he sent us down here anyway. For what purpose exactly, God only knows. What little hints he has given me has been assurance enough that what we are experiencing is worth it.
What does he ask us in exchange? He tells us to enjoy the things he gave us. He asks us to learn to love each other. He asks us to keep his commandments. He asks us to trust in Him. And when we screw it all up, He asks us to turn back and try again.
Regarding his commandments, we have been lied to. We were told that these were arbitrary restrictions. But they are not. They are a sign of a loving God who cares deeply about us. Let’s say you were walking along and you saw a father strapping his child tightly with thick belts, and attaching him to some kind of rope. At first thought, you would say, “Hey! Let your child go! They deserve to run around and be free!” But a bit of context changes everything. See, the father was preparing his child to do some rock climbing. Those straps and ropes are there to protect the child, so that the child can enjoy rock climbing without the threat of harm or death. The father is binding the child and carefully because he loves his child.
Another example: We see signs along the road, and they say things like “Speed Limit”, “Falling Rocks”, “No Shoulder”, and we might think that it is quite rude to tell <i>us</i> how to drive. But in reality, those signs are there to protect us from dangerous things. We can drive across the country safely if we heed them. If we ignore just one, our lives are in peril.
God’s commandments are the same. We ignore them to our peril. We keep them and find even more freedom and liberty. But this isn’t about the commandments. This is about love.
And as I said above, if you don’t feel His love, you have no love to share.
There are those who wonder whether God exists or whether he gave those particular commandments. The answer is simple: Ask God. He tells us to seek, knock, and ask. He promises us that we will find, the door will open, and answers.
So, the first step in the rebirth of our county is not changing our government. It is finding God’s love for ourselves. Once we feel that love, then we can start rebuilding our country. Without that love, we have nothing.
Go find God’s love. Right now.