REFLECTION FOR 8-22-21
Do you ever wonder how life got so complicated?
When I was growing up, the TV had three channels. Yet, I don’t remember ever being frustrated because there was nothing to watch on TV. Now, the TV has hundreds of channels, but I often find that there’s nothing on worth watching.
Religion can be the same way. When God made His covenant with the Israelites, He promised to protect, guide, and provide for them. For their part of the deal, the Israelites had to observe ten rules. But, as time went by things became more complicated. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, those Ten Commandments had developed into 613 laws.
Jesus made it easy for us again by paring it down to two simple rules:
- Rule #1: Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
- Rule #2: Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
In this complicated world in which we live, maybe it’s time for us to follow Jesus’ advice and get back to basics.
Let’s start with love of God. The most important thing here is to remember that God loves us first. He loves us into being. He makes each one of us unique and special and loves us like we’re the only one. He created all of nature for our enjoyment and gives us people to share our lives with. God is available 24/7 at the sound of our prayer. Loving God in return is as easy as thanking Him every day for the wonders and blessings we encountered that day. Living a life of gratitude is one way to love God with all we have.
Loving our neighbor can be a bit more difficult. The secret is the part, “as you love yourself.” When we mess up or have a bad day, we expect people to understand and give us a break or a second chance. We should do the same for those around us. When we’re sad, we want a shoulder to cry on; when we’re angry, we just want someone to vent to. We should provide the same for those around us. Providing for others what we want and need for ourselves will fulfill the requirements of Rule #2.
Living out our faith does not need to be complicated. It’s a simple as 1,2….and nothing more.