Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More on the worthwhile life

If the idea is to do all for God out of love for God, then impatience becomes a form of rebellion, and a manifestation of disobedience and of lack of love.

In other words, if the only good works God accepts are those that are done for him, out of love for him, then our good works become unacceptable when we are impatient in the midst of performing those works.

It's as if God were our employer, so to speak, and as the one who "pays" us, he's the one we want to please. It's not about pleasing myself, or the person who may immediately benefit from what I do, nor can it be about getting any kind of praise or credit from "the world." It can't even be about getting my salary, or a merit bonus. The motive has to be "I'm doing this for God because I love him, whether I get paid or not, whether I am praised or thanked or not." Everything else is secondary.

But when I get impatient and rail or complain, I am railing or complaining against my "employer." I tell myself, I'm angry about the chicken that flew out while I was trying to work on the coop, or I'm angry at myself because I clumsily spilled the ice cube tray while trying to put it back into the freezer, but since I'm supposedly doing these tasks for God, out of love for him, my anger (with the hardships of the job) goes against him.

You see, the chicken flying out, the nail bending, the ice cubes spilling, they're all part of the job. I cannot say I'm hammering a nail for God, and exclude my impatience from it. I can't say, "All for love of God," but exclude the moment of anger. No, the anger is part of "the offering," and the anger, as the task, goes to God with the rest.

Which makes the whole task pointless. A life is only worthless when we suck all the value out of it by our impatience with any element of our life. Patience, mildness, loving resignation, these are all the elements that say: "I love you, and I offer you what I am doing, what I am accepting, because I love you." There is no room for love in impatience and anger.

The trials that come about as part of a task are the proof, so to speak, of the sincerity of our offering. When we really, wholly love the person for whom we are doing a task, we joyfully and patiently accept all the hardships that come along with the task. It can't be otherwise and still be an offering of love.

So, the bottom line, anyone who is capable of love can live a life that is worth living. The task at hand, simple, or complex, menial or grand, must be love, first and foremost. The life of one who does not love, who gives in to impatience and anger, is leading a life of tragedy, and will end in tragedy if he does not repent of his failure to love.

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