If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
It's a very rainy and dreary day in Nashville, and I am starting my work week after a weekend filled with two weddings. So, love is on the brain. And at the same time, I've still got England on my heart.
I stepped outside my comfort zone and spent time in another country. Jeremy & I went into the trip feeling unprepared for all the work we had to do. And we relied on the Lord each day to provide emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In the midst of a schedule so packed with worshipping, serving, and going, I didn't have time to think about the sometimes frivolous "first world" concerns that tend to plague my mind. Even though, in England, I was still in a "first world" place, I was too busy doing a myriad of more important things to worry about things like decorating and having some alone time and eating organic. And it got me thinking...
If I have a spotless home, but do not have love... If I stay married for 50 years, but do not have love... If I keep a tight budget and save millions for retirement, but do not have love... If I shop at the farmers market every week and instagram a really well-composed picture of all the produce we eat, but do not have love... If I put together a great outfit on a budget, but do not have love... If I manage my time really wisely and leave a balanced schedule with room for alone time and friends and family, but do not have love... If I avoid processed food completely and make everything from scratch, but do not have love... If I workout everyday and make fitness a top priority, but do not have love... If I grow a garden, but do not have love... If I graduated with honors, but do not have love... If I have a job that makes me feel important, but do not have love... If my house looks like it belongs in a magazine, but I do not have love... If I write songs that speak to millions, but do not have love... If I am known by many, but do not have love... If I win an argument, but do not have love... If I travel the world, but do not have love... If I follow my dreams, but do not have love... If I live on less, but do not have love... If I take a chance, but do not have love... I am but a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal I gain nothing I am nothing.
So many goals, worries, and dreams swim around in my head constantly. Things that do matter. Many of them are good things. Health matters, happiness matters, friends matter, family matters. I think God even takes delight in our hobbies and interests. For me, that is music and writing and decorating and reading and cooking and weddings and making things pretty.
But these things are not primary. These things are not what matters in the end.
And when I think about the way I want my life to look in the end, when I look back and everything is over, I want to love the Lord first and primarily, and in turn I want to love others.
I get distracted by the comparison game. And I wish for a more extravagant vacation, a fancier home, healthier food, more friends.
But if Jeremy and I never go on another vacation, and we never move out of our starter home, and I put on weight someday, and I go through seasons of loneliness, it won't really matter. It won't matter if I have loved fully, given of myself, and put God's glory first in all things. I would rather be known for my hospitality than my cleanliness. I would rather meet Jesus someday and hear him talk about the glory that He received from my life than listen him list off the ways I saved money and ate healthy food.
Those things matter. These are good things.
But if I have not love...