Before moving forward to Christmas, I need to rewind to a Friday a few weeks ago. Our family is visiting my son’s school for their annual Thanksgiving lunch. As we receive an enthusiastic tour from my six-year-old and eat an enormous meal in the cafeteria, I notice everyone seems to know his name. Most kids either stop to talk, or at the very least, yell a quick “Hey!” as they run down the hall. By the time we leave, stuffed to the brim with turkey and apple cobbler, it’s clear he’s well-liked by his peers.
On the ride home, I zig-zag between tractor trailers and holiday traffic on the interstate, reflecting in mom-fashion on my son’s disposition. I interrupt his singing to tell him I’m proud of him for being so kind to others. In response, I receive a shrug and a second verse of his serenade. Then a delayed reaction: “Why would that make you proud?”
I think a moment. “Because that’s one of the most important things God has asked us to do. He wants us to love Him and love others. If we do that, everything else in life will fall into place.”
I hear a quiet “Oh.” After a few seconds of what was most likely either confusion or silent contemplation, he continues his song. I watch the white lines pass quickly to my left. The trees, now almost bare for winter, blur into a brown haze on either side. I realize this simple explanation holds more meaning than I had originally considered.
What if we all lived our lives like that? Existing every day with the purpose of loving others.
I believe it’s a mindset, and we have the perfect example to mirror our lives after—the greatest love ever shown.
Because no love has ever been greater than God’s when He sent his Son to earth- born in a manger so we could live forever with Him.
Unfortunately, love isn’t always as simple as sharing your gummies with a classmate in the cafeteria. For those of us who don’t spend our days reading blend charts and solving addition problems, the concept is slightly more complicated. It means compromising with our spouse during a disagreement. It means taking a deep breath when that driver whose time takes priority over ours cuts us off in traffic. It’s showing respect to a less than respectable boss.
The gamut is wide, but the concept is simple. Always put others before yourself and try to be an example of the One who showed us the ultimate love.
Image credits: winter trees: Richard North/Flickr nativity scene: churchofjesuschrist.org