…start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
The Family Dog!
I wish I had the chutzpah of the family dog.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
That last bit (“Love never ends”) got me as I pondered it yesterday.
“Love never ends”.
Other versions use the word “fail”: “Love never fails”.
It does ALL these things with perfect consistency and regularity.
You can promise based on love, because it will not end or fail.
It keeps on giving and loving and loving and giving.
I can’t do that.
Even on my good days I can forgive myself much sooner than I can forgive anyone else. And it takes a while to forgive myself.
And it’s not just faults that I have issues forgiving others for.
It’s mishaps and mess-ups. Stumbles and foibles instead of malicious intent that I encounter most of the time from others. Missing this or dropping that. And I get frustrated.
I have to walk away when someone doesn’t have the same touch I do with electronics (a terrible state of affairs for someone who works on an IT help desk).
I have to take a breather when someone, even someone I am close to, misses a turn on a map.
What I have isn’t love, right now.
But I want it to be.
Not to change my definition of love to agree with how I currently am, but to change who I am to grow ever closer to the definition of love.
Love is something beyond me, I cannot will it to be or not, nor can I conform it by saying it is so.
And so when the bar is set at “Love never ends”, it’s a measure of how far I have to go instead of how much I need to define.