2 years ago, you invite me to play guitar at another local church, regardless of pay, i emphatically reply no! i don't know why, there was a certain passion i had for the home of shady grove church. maybe this passion was unhealthy? maybe it was unbalanced passion that was more concerned with the reputation of the legacy of shady grove church than the idea god had for me 4000 years ago. i say 4000 only cause that is the number that popped in my head, there is no significance to that number. but god's destined idea for me was not a legacy builder of shady grove church. that legacy has been built by god and he has done a pretty good job of it to this point. an expert on character i don't claim to be, but these last few years of my life i can point to times that an entitled spirit should've and could've taken over if it weren't for the mercy of god. the other morning i was awaken to the sound of nothing going on. my alarm hadn't gone off yet, there wasn't a rooster in the distance, my son was still sound asleep, and surprisingly as it may seem they actually took a break from construction around my house around the time i awoke. so i got out of bed and thought to do only that which i do every time i am the first one up and no one else around me is awake, pray and read the bible. i was upon the infamous 1 cor. 13 "love" passage. love is this, love is that, and love doesn't do this, or that. well, this passage correlated completely with the topic of my wife and my discussion the night later, which would be last night, i think. she had asked me if i felt bitter, or if i felt like blaming anyone for, what we feel like, the wrong that has been done. i thought about it, and thought about it, and thought some more. my conclusion was that i undeniably felt no bitterness. i did not feel as though anyone is or was to blame. i felt no anger, or resentment. i did not feel like leaving the church, and still to this very moment don't feel like leaving shady grove. i thought today about what the natural feeling should be: bitterness, hatred, anger, resentment, etc. but this passage in 1 cor. showed another glimmer of the gem in an angle i had not seen before, or maybe i had but just forgot. true love endures. true love suffers long. true love remains patient even under slights and personal wrongs done. true love does all this even enduring without divulging personal distress. in a culture that teaches a release of emotion regardless of whom it may offend, or hurt true love teaches otherwise. it does this in order that selfishness would not prompt or expose itself in any hardship. true love protects its very name. to release the emotions that have been built up for the sake of avoiding repression does not accomplish or promote true love. that is the legacy i so desire to build, a legacy of true love.
god is so much more interested in the growth of the heart rather than the growth of the wallet. i mean if we are truly gonna believe the logic of the lord's prayer than we need to understand this principle. when young people have asked me in the past, "how far can i go with a girl without it being a sin" my response is why test the fire (no pun intended). using the same logic, those who have so much and still need more, the question is, why seek to gain and gain, to profit and profit when the more your desire is fed the more likely, as a sinful human being, you will drift apart from the dependence on god. true love protects this very dependence. true love reserves the bitter entitled spirit and in its stead puts a heart of forgiveness for even the worst enemy. another reason why i appreciate god not allowing me to heal everyone with an ailment; or cure every sickness. it would be cool, but it would be hard to keep from losing myself in myself. those pockets of visible blessing are so important to our everyday faith. to those who question every time something bad happens, "where is god, he doesn't care, or he isn't there." think of the mere fact that you are breathing in the air you have. thank him that you are not one of the drunk driving fatality statistics. thank him for all those unnoticed miracles he has done for you, all those times he diverted your step to protect, provide, and produce profit or gain for your well-being. i think we, as the "perpetrators," do not deserve true love from a god who is nothing but love.