A love that leads to God
“The best way to know God is to love many things.”
My bedroom radiator holds a little flip calendar that offers a daily quote and short prayer. That quote left me pondering for days.
How many things do I love? Am I looking for more things to love? What should that list include?
Loving people seems to be the most obvious choice. Of those in my immediate circle, am I consciously thinking of ways to show that I love them? Could I make a list of new things I have said or done to make them feel more loved? In my wider circle of friends, when did I last contact them? A phone call, a text message, a visit, an anonymous gift, a card? Maybe more importantly, when did I actively expand my wider circle of friends? Who could I list as being my friend today that I did not know six months ago? How have I showed friendship to them? And the most difficult is, whom am I befriending that I will probably never meet? How am I showing love to the wider world of refugees, disaster victims, prisoners, missionaries, politicians and a host of others that we don’t think about? Can I make a difference in just one person’s life by sharing my love as a Christian?
We should do more than just what it says in Romans 12:16: “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”
Another way to love is by loving the things that surround us. Did you take time to enjoy the beautiful fall days with a walk in the woods? Did you rejoice in one beautiful leaf and thrill to the glorious hillsides of color? If walking in the woods is a normal activity for you, what new thing did you try? A music program, an art exhibit, sitting on a lakeshore, cooking a meal from scratch, painting, playing with the neighbor child, reading a book you “should” read? Perhaps one new activity will become something you love -- and that will help you know God! Job 28:10 reads: “The God who cuts channels in the rocks, sees every precious thing He created on earth.”
Who said the best way to know God is to love many things? Surprisingly it was the artist Vincent Van Gogh! Here is the full quotation from “Van Gogh and God: A Creative Spiritual Quest” by Cliff Edwards: “The best way to know God is to love many things. Love a friend, wife, something -- whatever you like -- you will be on the way to knowing more about Him; that is what I say to myself. But one must love with a lofty and serious intimate sympathy, with strength, with intelligence; and one must always try to know deeper, better and more. That leads to God, that leads to unwavering faith.”
May God bless us as we strive to know Him better.