My job is a dream – baking cakes, cookies and muffins all day long with my iPod faithfully providing whatever soundtrack I choose for the day.
(Nevermind the dishwashing and mopping…I pretend those parts don’t actually exist).
The most interesting aspect of my job, however is not how many Beets are in the Beet muffins or how long we bake a cake for, but the fact that you have 6 hours at a time of uninterrupted thinking. Being in your mind for that long can be dangerous – I’ve been told that one girl actually quit because it was “too much time to think” – but I’ve grown to appreciate it more than anything. Something that has been on the forefront of my mind for quite some time is the concept of love and its image verses its truth and reality. My boss and I got on the subject and both agreed that a wonderfully realistic, although overused and underappreciated view on love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. When you actually read the words for what they are, it changes entirely. It transforms into a painfully real picture of what love is supposed to look like in contrast to the way we often picture it in our idealistic minds.
It does not say:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is perfect, love is sunshine and happiness. Love is never annoyed, never frustrated, always easy.”
Surprise! Love is not what it seems to be from the outside looking in. Is it wonderful? Is it a gift? Absolutely! But it is also a daily choice - another nugget of wisdom from my boss. Love is not easy, but those who have committed to love one another wake up every day and choose to love that person. “It is not self-seeking”…shoot! “It is not proud”…dangit. It is patient, hopeful, and it “always perseveres.” Upon reading these words I saw how much I fall short. If it were a checklist, the result would be dismal…
□ Is not envious
□ Is not boastful
□ Is not proud
□ Is not rude
□ Is not self-seeking
□ Is not easily angered
…you get the picture.
Maybe I’m the only one who needed to come to the realization that love is not perfect or easy, but let me tell you it changes everything. This verse gives us a difficult standard to uphold, but I believe it's the aspiration and attempt to emulate it that counts. If we all made the daily choice to aspire to love in the way 1 Corinthians tells us to, our relationships would certainly look quite different. Whether you’re loving your husband, girlfriend, family, friends, there are many people to whom we say “I love you,” but very rarely do we even attempt for it to look like it should. Above all else, it makes me so thankful for the love lavished on us by our Savior. Our declared love for others may fall short, but His is everything in this verse and more. His love is perfect.
In the light of this newfound reality, 1 Corinthians takes on a whole new meaning. Read it today with new eyes.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.