Today, I find myself thinking about time and love.
I think about the sadness of our times to which there seems no shortage. Walls, discrimination, killings, compassion buried in the name of tradition, and just plain hate. These things are so prevalent in our world today and yet I hold to the truth that love is bigger.
Love always wins given enough time. That’s the thing about time and love, neither can be stopped.
As Mahatma Gandhi said,
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.”
Love always wins. Think of it—always.
This does not mean we just sit idly by waiting for love to happen, however.
Love is not passive. Love is participatory.
This is great news! We get to join forces with love.
Will we mess it up? – Sure. Will there be days when it seems like love will never win? – Absolutely. Gandhi knew this and so do we.
But, as I ponder this messy in between of time and love, I find myself thinking about someone else too. – Moses.
Moses knew about time.
He knew the beginning of his life as a prince, he knew the end of his life wandering in the wilderness toward the Promised Land, and then he had forty years in the middle spent as a shepherd. Essentially, the life of Moses can be divided into forty year increments. 40-40-40.
That’s a lot of time!
Moses knew time much like our time today. The in between time. The time where the hope in love is not quite realized.
I bet the time in the middle of his life seemed especially draining. I’m sure forty years listening to people complain in the dessert is no picnic either but I imagine shepherding is slow time.
Take the sheep out. Watch the sheep graze. Fend off an occasional predator. Watch the sheep graze. Walk the sheep back to the pen. Lay down to protect the gate. Fend off an occasional predator. Try to get some sleep. Repeat.
I don’t know if this is the perfect picture of shepherding, not having firsthand experience, but still I bet those were LONG days and years.
Moses really knew the frustrations of in between time.
And, yet, these words to one of my favorite psalms are attributed to him. “Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
Seriously, go back and read the psalm in its entirety. It’s quite moving in the power of its hope tinged with lament.
For Moses the true hope of love came out of those difficult in between times. This same hope is offered to us.
Likewise, this great hope rests in the opportunity to participate with love’s plan (Psalm 90:17) even while knowing it might not be fulfilled in our time.
Don’t forget, Moses didn’t get to go into the Promised Land and yet he persevered living his hope of love in the time he was given.
That’s just it. I believe the true power of love is that it might be fulfilled in us even as we work to improve the not yet world around us.
The only question is, “Am I willing to join forces with participatory, healing, restoring, redeeming love?”
Because I have the opportunity to bring love to whatever and whomever is before me today and so do you. What a glorious prospect!
This may not stop all the unloving in the world around me but what if, as I work to change it, I’m the one who’s changed?
That would be pretty cool. I’ll become in the becoming. You can too.
I know it’s not easy. I know what it’s like to be knocked to the floor. I’ve often commented on this very thing. It’s awfully difficult to see God when you can’t get up.
For those who are victims of the hate in the world around us, including our LQBTQIA sisters and brothers in The United Methodist Church and many people around the world, victims of various acts of hate, these are falling to the floor times. I urge you, take hope.
Love is still there. Love mourns, sustains, and sees us through even while constantly working toward repair, renewal, and restoration, amidst the brokenness of our humanity. Love is that big.
Maybe that’s the gift of time. This is the prayerful plea of Moses.
If I knew the number of my days, I’d focus on what really matters today and the actions I need to take to be the most loving.
When we seek love’s wisdom, we can become in our becoming.
Knowing today is the best day to move forward, why wait?
Ask yourself, “What would I do if today is all I have?” Would that change how you’d spend your time?
Remember though, even as your time here will run out, Love will not.
Love is never in short supply.
Love will keep moving as love does either through me or in spite of me although I hope it’s through me, don’t you?
This is our time!
Let’s Live Love’s Way Today.