We had a stomach bug run through us this week. I didn't have much time to think about this week's post, but I did get the opportunity to live it to a greater degree.
I can picture a time in college when Phillip and I were dating. We had a long distance relationship and were on the road to marriage. I was going through a very difficult time emotionally. I remember telling him that I would understand if I was "too much" for him to handle and if he wanted to end things. He confidently replied, "Love is a choice. I've chosen you." His response was so endearing to me at the time, but now as I've been pondering it, I realize how profound of a statement he made. I have heard many times and "know" that love is a choice. We know that it should not be based on emotions that come and go. Love doesn't change with the wind. It isn't solely a "natural instinct" or our "animal drive." Grounds such as these are far to shaky for Love to be built upon and flourish.
Something significant in my soul has struck me as I have reflected on the truth of love being a choice. I realized even further, that love not only is a choice, but that it cannot exist without one. LOVE CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT CHOICE! Choice is imperative to love, without it, love simply is not there. In my frustration with my own flesh at times, I have said to God, "Why couldn't you just make all of us love you. It would be so much easier that way and then all of life's problems would be solved." Or... "If you just showed everyone Yourself in all your glory, then everyone would just have to choose you and again, the problem would be solved."
However, this wouldn't work. God doesn't want robots, that's why he gave us free will. And since God is Love, and Love is a choice, then God is a choice too. He can't force himself on us, it simply is NOT POSSIBLE. Because again, without choice, love can't exist. By choosing to send His Son, Jesus, and by choosing to die on a cross for us He chose to show us real love. He chose us. He wants us to be with Him FOREVER. To do this, in return, the beloved must choose the lover as well. We know like in any relationship, this to be true. For example, Phillip and I couldn't have gotten married if the love wasn't mutual. Furthermore, if one of us forced it upon the other it would not be free. It would be a place or act of confinement. If it is forced, one in bold terms, may even label it as a form of rape. It is NOT Love. Love must be chosen in order for it to fulfill it's purpose - to be fruitful, free, pleasing, faithful, selfless, ecstatic, enduring, and all the other aspects Paul describes in I Corinthians that I've already mentioned in a previous post.
The road to Perfect Love is not always easy, but the things that are the most worth-our-while never are. I must look at the price Jesus paid for Love, He paid EVERYTHING. It's the only path there is to be completely and consumed by Love's flames of eternity. And one may say, "I want Love, but I don't think I can give everything. I will give all of "this" but not "that". " Then it is not Love being given. Love is limitless and boundless. We have to give everything, or it is not love. Again, if Phillip told me he would completely love me until "here". I would think #1) Then it isn't completely and #2) Then it's not enough. If it isn't ALL, it isn't enough. It isn't Love. I wouldn't feel secure or loved by remark like that.
My path of and to love, laid out by my God, specifically for me, Francesca, has abundant blessings and glimpses to Perfect Love. That is what carries me on, especially when the road has such rough terrain. When I know I can't do it any more I remind myself of the choice God made for me and the choice I make minutely for him. His Spirit then picks me up and carries me so I can somehow keep walking. This road of life with Jesus is not aimless with no direction. It is the road to home - a place of rest, of safety, of joy, and belonging. A place where Love lives and conquers. It is the road to the only place my soul desires to journey. It is the road I choose with Jesus and heaven's help to walk daily, the road to and for the cause of Love. Let us set our feet straight on the narrow path and charge full forced on it. We are never alone, nor the first to walk any of the steps we must take. Peace be with you all this week.