Although I start my day with Jesus, taking time for Bible study and prayer, this is not enough to keep me connected with him throughout the day. I need to keep listening to my GPS—the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sends to all of us who love him. I need to do the things which he points out are important.
How do I recognize what is important? I pay attention to my heart—to the love messages it contains. God is love, so I know that when my heart wants to perform a love-action that it’s the Holy Spirit’s voice.
- Love is more about who I am than what I do. Yet, who I am comes through in what I do.
- Love keeps me from being self-centered; it causes me to notice what others need not just what I need.
- Love determines what I remember; it enables me to let go of grudges and practices forgiveness.
- Love affects the way I communicate; it motivates me to be patient and kind, instead of irritable and rude.
I’m committed to love-motivated living; yet, sometimes I resist putting my love into action. For example, after breakfast, my heart wanted me to call a friend who has health problems and ask her how she was doing. She had called me the night before, requesting that I pray for her. I did so. It did not take long. And she thanked me.
In the morning, my heart wanted to check on her, but I wanted to do it in my time. So, I argued with the Holy Spirit. Do I have to call my friend right now? I complained. It’s interfering with my writing schedule.
Then, I tried to get out of it. I asked my husband if he would like to call my friend—after all he is the pastor. But he was studying and said “No, I have too many things to do”. (Not only that, he had just returned from performing a good deed.)
Finally, I listened to my heart and called my friend. She was grateful. She did not talk long. It did not need to be a long conversation. Just a word of encouragement, was all she needed.
It’s not the big, splashy events we do that communicate love as much as it is the everyday small actions. Ironically, it’s the small actions that sometimes seem harder to do.
As I was finishing this post, I glanced over at the primrose on my window sill. It’s collapsed blossoms and wilted leaves, hanging over the edge of the flower pot, made me fear that it had died. I grabbed the pot, took it to the kitchen and watered my plant. “Ooh”, I said, “Please come back. I’m sorry I forgot to give you water.”
Amazingly, in a few minutes, the leaves began to rise above the edges of the pot. It looked like my primrose was going to survive. I wanted to help it along, by lifting some of the flowers off of the dirt. However, I knew that if I tried that I would probably break the blossoms. So, I waited. Gradually, the leaves and flowers ascended. Just a little water was all it needed.
Psalm 103 tell us that we are as fragile as my primrose–“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone”. We are nourished and kept alive by simple acts of love, such as making a phone call, providing a ride, or offering someone a glass of water.
Just a word of encouragement may be all that someone needs. Making a phone call might not seem like a very big thing. We might think that it’s unimportant. Jesus doesn’t think so. Simple, small things are important to him. He said, ” This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance”(The Message).