One Year, One Motivation
Its been a year.
One entire year exactly since I moved to Washington, DC. In some ways nothing has changed. I still don’t read as I would like to. Sadly my cooking skills have not improved. Instead my baking creations are usually coupled by some sort of spinach salad. And I still have not been to every Smithsonian museum. But a few things have changed. I have a different job. I live in a different home (back to the original neighborhood though). I am no longer afraid of being out at dark (or dusk for that matter). I am surrounded by dear friends that I didn’t know 12 months ago. And today we had our first ever Big Mac (we live BIG here in the city!) I understand myself, my story, and the Lord in a greater depth. I am a bit more comfortable with not having all the answers. In fact, I, along with anyone else who is willing to reflect, find more and more questions with no answers with each passing day.
Yet there does seem to be one word that at least guides each unknown: love.
Overwhelmingly I find that as I seek to live life as it really is, it comes down to: loving God, loving my family, loving strangers, loving my enemies, doing that which I love, choosing paths that lead to love, choosing paths motivated by love, and cultivating a place for others to experience love.
It begs the same question that we find in works of art throughout the centuries, without love what is this life all about? And what is love anyway? I don’t have a complete answer to those questions, but I realize that I have been blessed to both give and receive love throughout my life. And I hope to always live for and be motivated by love.
My sophomore year of college I wrote a Bible Study for class titled: Simplicity. To love and be loved. It focused on Ephesians 5:1-2: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
We are able to love because He first loved us; we are His beloved. Only when we experience love can we begin to love. I’ve said for awhile now that I do not naturally love people. Its sheer honesty. I know my heart and bitterness, skepticism and criticism are innate within me, not love. I am often surprised when I love those around me naturally–shy of any selfish motivations. Yet my heart burns with love merely because they too exist. They too are a creation with a story, with experienced wisdom, with unique creativity and a heart that too longs to love and be loved. In those moments–usually of seemingly little magnitude–these moments, I consider to be the gems throughout my day. I want to live a life full of and motivated by love.
I think I’ve had the opportunity to do that in my year here in DC. I have not mastered it. No, in fact, I’ve failed at it many a times. But I see it more clearly than ever before and hope to intentionally create a life full of and open to loving and being loved. Even in the face of stark reality–may my story be one of living a life as is motivated by love.