Jesus replied, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Some days I just want God to tell me what to do. I want God to use a Siri navigational voice directing my steps. "In 500 feet turn left." "Your destination is on your right." I don't want to have to think about anything. I just want to be given precise, step-by-step instructions for getting to my destination. I don't want to have to figure out where I am, where I am going, or how I am going to get there. I don't want to have to think, or make decisions, or worry about getting lost. I am tired. My brain is fried and my soul is weary. As a teacher, I am bombarded all day long with questions and decisions that require quick calculations of rules, outcomes, and consequences. My position as an educational decision maker requires me to rapidly negotiate in my mind the optimum return for each choice I make and answer I give. That means when it comes to navigating my life, I want God to tell me exactly what to do. I don't want to have to figure it out on my own. I want a voice directing me to: "Take that job." "Teach this course." "Go back to school." "Start a new business." "Adopt." Through clenched teeth I hiss, "Just tell me what to do!"
In Matthew 22 the Pharisees are seeking a way to discredit Jesus. They are trying to pin him down to one rule they should follow hoping he will say one, so they can counter argue with a different one. They are asking, "What is God's will for my life? What should I do?" But, Jesus doesn't play their game. He simply says every decision hangs on two things. Love God. Love People. Jesus tells them "You want to know what to do with your life? First, love God with every part of your being. Then, love people in the same way you take care of yourself. If you do these two things everything else will fall into place."
The same guidelines apply to us. God only requires two things of us. First, we are to love him with an all consuming passion. Our love for him should be what drives us. Not making money. Not making a name for ourselves. Not being popular. Not having a perfect Pintrest home. Not children nor marriage. My heart should beat to please him. My spirit should be moved by him. My mind should be constantly thinking about him. Second, we are to love others. I don't neglect myself. I brush my teeth. I go to the doctor. I exercise. I treat myself to shoes and lattes. I go to bed when I am tired. I make sure that my needs are met. In the same way, I am to look out for others. I need to ask myself, "How would I want to be treated? What would I need in that situation?" As acutely as I am aware of my feelings, longings, needs, and desires, I should be aware of others and their needs. What I would do for myself should be what I do for someone else.
Navigating God's will for my life is simply a matter of following two simple directions-love God; love people. When I find myself hissing "What should I do?" The response is clear. "First, love me. Then, love others."
Dear Heavenly Father,
My life does not always align with loving you and others. Show me where my life needs redirecting. Reignite a passion within me for you. Help me to see others through the same lens I see myself. Amen
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.