Remember when you were younger…maybe in middle school or high school…and you found yourself liking someone so much that they were all you thought about? I remember some of my first “loves” in high school and how I would daydream about them and our future together. I would dare to say that I loved them. Love as I knew it anyway. In fact, I would venture to say that the love I had for them was the purest I’ve ever experienced. Not yet tainted by the hurts, pains, and rejections of life and the people in it. Not yet burdened by false or unrealistic unexpectations or, for me at least, terribly lustful desires. All I wanted was to be told I was pretty. All I wanted was to go out and have fun. At 14, 15 or 16 and in spite of my own childhood journeys, I still trusted people wholeheartedly. I was still willing to go the extra mile to show a boy how I felt. I was still willing to be talked about if the boy wasn’t the “popular” dude. I was still willing to dress, talk, dance, and move in a way that would impress him.
I’ve lost that simplicity and that pure way of loving. The increasing sediment that has settled over my life has caused me to harden in my approach to love. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still quite compassionate and I still love quite hard…but it’s not the same.
And now I’m realizing how much that has impacted my relationship with God. You see, I’m not thinking about the way I used to “love” so that I can love my man or people better (although admittedly there are some things I could learn from my younger self).
I’m talking about loving God better. I want to love God like I did when I was a child. With an overwhelming desire to please. To trust Him implicitly. As a child, my curiosity never got in the way of my love. I could wonder and question a thing without my inquisitions tarnishing how I felt about it. Sadly, that is not the case today.
I want to be willing to go the extra mile to show God how I feel about Him. To stand up and claim Him as my GREAT LOVE even though He may not be the most popular one. To not allow the hurts and pains of my life to interfere with the purity of love I give Him. I want to do my very best to love God as He loves me…unconditionally. My sin might get in the way sometimes. My humanity might get in my way sometimes. But I could try. I really should try.
It’s not like I haven’t done it before.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15 (NIV)