Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dear Beatles: It *Isn't* "Easy"

As you can read on Genius.com, this iconic song, "All you need is love," by the Beatles, starts out by saying just that, "Love, love, love... all you need is love..." And if you know the song, (which I'm sure all of you do), you might also know that the most oft-repeated phrase in the song, which serves as a transition into every chorus are the words, "It's easy!"

As I was listening to this song playing on - a hesitant to call it - mediocre television show my kids were watching (wouldn't want that label applied to me, that's all), I thought to myself, "Beatles, you are oh so wrong."  And then, laughably, I thought, "And The Beatles probably were not Catholic." Astute observations by tacy.... Of course then I googled it, but that's another story. ;)

Because in my experience, love is not easy. In fact, love is anything but that.  I would say that, if anything, love is work. Love is sacrifice. Love is rooted in faith and prayer, and the practice of love is a demand on my heart and on my soul each day, and I can safely say that it is a true struggle.  No, love is not easy. Why?

* Love isn't easy, because Love is work.

1 Corinthians 13 gives us a good definition of love, but boy, it isn't simple and it certainly doesn't sound easy to follow those rules all the time. Love IS patient, and kind, Love is NOT envy, boasting, prideful, rude, easily angered, or self seeking. Love seeks no record of wrongs, always protects, hopes, trusts, perseveres, never fails.

And perhaps my favorite line from those verses: "Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth." Quick to judge someone who cuts you off in traffic? If you knew the truth (they are late for a doctor's appointment for a rare disease, and they hit you from behind-- true story, happened to me in NYC traffic), perhaps you wouldn't be so quick to judge.

*Love isn't easy, because Love is sacrifice.

Love was demonstrated to us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  What does this verse mean? It means that his demonstration of love teaches us about what love is. I'm pretty sure the culture of the Beatles was free love, no war, and mutual respect. As they bob their heads and sing (see above video), it sure sounds and looks easy! But what about this policy of love teaches the true wisdom of Biblical love? It sounds pretty selfish to me. And extremely impractical. And it has nothing to do with being a stay-at-home Mom to five kids, where free love has no place.
 What kind of example would that set for them?

*Love isn't easy, because Love is rooted in faith and prayer.

Ora et labora  {prayer and work} are the tenets of our love.  We can lay down our own intentions to find the path of love by praying for God's wisdom everyday.   Communication with God,  lends itself to helpful communication with others. I'm pretty sure that if we don't talk through things with our spouse, jealousy or laziness will win the day.  We need the wisdom and humility that comes from prayer, so that we know how to work through our problems, and find conflict resolution, on a daily basis.

All in all, it is a struggle, and sometimes it's a war against flesh and evil. The fruit of faith is that God does give us guidance when we do in fact pray for wisdom.  As I have prayed for wisdom in this day and age, and in our culture today, I have found these words to be of utmost importance and assistance: "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want."  And yet, love does not flow freely when there are so many tasks each day that beg to be done.  The iggling thought worms its way into our minds:

Oh, but if I were younger.
Oh, but if I were a supermodel.
Oh, but if were Paul, John, Ringo, George.

Then, love might be easy!

Or maybe if I could improve my conditions in some other way, then love would be easy.

Perhaps by becoming a saint, one could make love "easy," or an easy thing.

Perhaps if all of my meals were microwave ready, then love would come easy.

Perhaps if I had the things the television advertises- the right materials, the right clothes, the right hair, then love would come easy.

But deep down in my heart, I know that I can't cover a blistering wound with platitudes. A new day that I cannot and will not plaster the envy with false kindness. It is a new chance to practice loving as I practice the presence of God.  It is not a day to master the skill. It is simply another day filled with momentary opportunities to lay down my plans, to sacrifice my will, to let God's Spirit fill me with the motions, with the right words, with the hard work that I must go through in order to follow his Divine will. Only in this - ONLY IN THIS- can true love be witnessed.

It isn't easy. Everyday, I'm challenged by His will and my fiercely independent spirit that wants to deny the broken disposal, or the littered living room, or the trash that builds and overflows and needs to be taken out. My patients is on a slow boil, and truly, if I do not communicate well with those around me, I will lose the path to loving, in the heat of one impatient moment after another. But there is an elevator to the path of love, as St. Therese said, and it is to follow God's will, or "the littlest way." And I'm pretty sure being little is akin to being like a child. So we can start there. ;)

Linking up with Tuesday Talk

No comments: