Thursday, December 4, 2014
The Life of Love
I'm a thinker, or at least that's what people keep telling me. I spend a lot of my free time thinking about life and love and about everything that goes on in our world. Ten years ago I was a university student so it was natural for me to be thinking about the future and how I wanted to live my life. I suddenly realized that I didn't even know what the point with life is. I felt a need to figure out what the point with life is before I could decide in what direction my life should be heading.
Most people don't think like this, most people just do what others do. I read somewhere that the majority of humans start to think about the point of life in their sixties or seventies. I have a highly sensitive personality and the need to find meaning in life early rather than later is apparently common for this type of personality. I ended up spending most of my twenties trying to figure out what we are all here for and what life really is about. The commonly accepted idea in modern society is that there is no particular reason at all why we are here, we can all spend our lives how we want.
We are free to choose how we spend our lives as long as we don't break too many laws. This world view sounds good at first thought, but the more I started looking at our world the less it made sense to me. I realized that what happens when we all live our lives how we want is that there seem to be few people caring for the poor and helping those who are hurting. I guess most of us don't want to care about others, so if we are free to choose we choose not to serve others. We choose to serve ourselves.
We are all aware that we are breaking a lot of "rules" with our modern lifestyles that really should have never been broken. We are fully aware that earth won't be able to sustain our lifestyles of mass consumption but there is little interest in changing the way we live. A world where everyone is free to live how they want sounds so nice, but when you take a closer look at what kind of world this lifestyle creates it becomes less attractive. A life of happiness and free choice is the modern ideal. This century has already been named "The Century of The Self".
A few years into my searching for the point with life I had to give up the idea of a world where everyone lives how they want. I realized that if I chose to live my life in a self-centred way it was going to leave an impact on the world that was far more negative than I was willing to accept. Half way into my twenties I was still no closer to figuring out the point with life than I had been a few years before. At this point I had a clear view of what was wrong with this world, but I didn't have any ideas for how it could be made right again.
One day my employer invited me to church. I didn't believe in God and tried to come up with some excuse not to go. I didn't want to seem impolite and it was important to keep the work relationship positive, so I agreed to go to church. I was expecting the worst since my earlier experiences of church weren't positive. I was very surprised to find that I actually ended up enjoying my first visit to this church. The church was a non denominational Christian church with 11 000 people attending Sunday service each weekend.
The church had its own rock band that played music before and during the service. The pastor of the church seemed surprisingly normal, he wore jeans and a t-shirt while preaching, no big cross around his neck. Although I felt weird every time the pastor mentioned God I couldn't help but agree that there was some real truth to what he was talking about. I have studied psychology and a big part of the message was about things I know to be true based on what I know about psychology. I was still very skeptical about the existence of a "God", but I decided to look into it further. I wanted to figure out what life was about but this was definitely the last area I had expected to find some answers.
Believe it or not, seven years later I have come to the conclusion that God is real. If anyone would have asked me ten years ago I would never had guessed that a Christian church would be the place where I would find my answers. Most of you who don't believe in God's existence are probably thinking something like: "I knew it, she's gotten completely brainwashed by this church and now she actually thinks God is real!" I have to say that I don't blame you for thinking thoughts like that, I would probably have thought the same if I was you.
I don't think God and faith is something you can fully wrap your head around if you haven't explored it yourself. I used to think believing in God was crazy and that those who believe must be less intelligent. The key is that understanding God and faith is not something that comes easily. You have to read a lot, ask a lot of questions and be willing to listen to the answers you get, if you truly want to find out if there is a God or not.
I'm quite convinced at this point that the reason most people don't believe in God is that they don't understand who He is. In the end it comes down to this, if you look for God you will find Him. I think that many of us in our modern world are a little scared of the unknown, maybe scared to go down that road and try to figure out if God is real. These are some really big questions so its understandable that fear will be part of the equation. I can only say that if you do decide to look you will be truly amazed by what you will find. When you understand who God is, why he has created you and how incredibly loved you are by God it will blow your mind!
That is the story about my journey from living a self-centred life to living for God, in other words living The Life of Love. "The Life of Love" is the name of the last stage of spiritual development in The Critical Journey by Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Guelich. This last stage in our spiritual development is a stage where we are selfless rather than needy. We offer love to others without the need to be loved in return. We mirror the love God has for us in our actions towards others. We love God, we love others, and we are willing to serve.
Here's a few questions: What would our world look like if everyone on earth lived according the description of The Life of Love? Can you imagine how the world would change if everyone lived a life where the goal is to be selfless rather than needy|? If everyone offered love freely to one another without always expecting something back. What would the world look like if we all strived to live to love and serve one another in everything we do? That is the way we are created to live, but few people choose to live this way. The Life of Love or a self-centered life? The choice is ours.