Here is my attempt at the latest Salt Challenge, “Walking in Love”.
I have some thoughts on it I would like to record, but right now I have to clean the bathroom, among other things! In case I don’t get around to it before the challenge is over, here it is. Watch this space for further comment /explanation!
As soon as I read the theme for this challenge, I thought of different shoes. The idea being that sometimes it is much easier to love, and other times it is more difficult. There are times when love springs from us, bubbles up, as we willingly express it in our attitudes and actions to others. At other times we would much rather curl up and not bother making the effort to actively love; it is more of an act of will to say ‘let me do that for you’, to do something purely for another person. What I pray is that whatever my mood or circumstance (whatever ‘shoes’, whichever ‘road’) is that I will still act (walk) in love.
I’ve said this before, but it is a continuing lesson – our strength of character is not truly shown in the good times but in the difficult times. Being loving and acting in a way pleasing to God when all seems to be rising up against you is much harder – but by practising it we become more able to do it. It’s a challenge to me because I know when I am horribly tired I become more sensitive to things, less calm in reacting to conflict or difficult situations. I need God’s strength in these moments to help me ‘walk in love’, because the fatigue robs me of the control I need to be the person he wants me to be. I need his patience and his goodness- I need the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of my efforts, in order to honour him when the road is far too steep for me and I frequently stumble.
The wonderful thing is that God’s mercy is ‘new every morning’. Although I may frequently fail to ‘walk in love’ as I am called to do, he is faithful and forgiving and gives me a fresh start each day, using the difficult moments and what I consider my failures to teach and strengthen me. These lessons can be very painful at times but God can transform even my pain into something beautiful, if I trust him with it. If I clutch it to myself, picking at it, berating myself, collecting my failures like anti-trophies, I am not giving it to God to mend – instead I am propagating it, making it worse, and causing a cycle to start which is hard to get out of.
So I pray, Lord, may I walk in love even when I’m on a stony, difficult road and wearing the wrong kind of shoes. Help me, and when I stumble, help me to fix my eyes on you, not looking down at where I have fallen. I may stumble often, but with you I can grow stronger. I can learn to love where I would not naturally be loving, because of your Spirit within me. I need to stay close to you in order to do this. Help me stay close, so that I can act out of love, everything flowing from love, so that the world may look and know that I am your disciple.
Energy levels: 5-6/10
Headache: low – medium