Celebrating of the power of love
By Al Early
If any of my readers are women wondering if it is time to have a baby, here are some helpful tests to take to decide if you are ready.
This first test is the Mess Test. Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.
Toy Test: Obtain a 55-gallon drum of LEGOs (if LEGOs are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks). Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).
Grocery Store Test: Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.
Dressing Test: Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus (they turn bright red when they are unhappy). Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.
Feeding Test: Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug, while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.
Final assignment: Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training and child’s table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.
Each year, when Mother’s Day rolls around, I always like to preach about love because when moms have been great moms, the greatest gift they pass on to their children is the meaning of unconditional love.
Jesus called this love “agape,” and it is a no-strings-attached, nothing to earn, “I will always love you” kind of love.
We don’t experience that kind of love very often in our lives. When we do, it is often our moms that share that kind of love best.
Agape love is when we choose love even though to do so will come at a great sacrifice. Jesus defined this love best when He told His disciples on the night He would be arrested, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Then, the next day He laid down His life for all the sins of the world.
The three Roman nails did not hold Him on that cross. It was His love for all of us that held Him on that cross. Jesus’ sacrifice was the greatest sacrifice of all.
Whenever we make a sacrifice for someone else, we learn more and more about the love Jesus has for us and the power of love when we share it with others.
I close with this parable of the power of love. A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived 200 miles away. As he got out of his car, he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have 75 cents, and a rose costs $2.”
The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.” He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers.
As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.
She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.”
She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave. The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet, and drove the 200 miles to his mother’s house.
Life is short and hard too! How can you be more loving to those around you? Are you willing to make a sacrifice for others to show your love? Others in your family? Will you make a sacrifice for a friend? What about a stranger?
To prepare for Mother’s Day, I invite you to read I Corinthians 13:4-8 and insert your name every time the word love appears. Write down anything you learn about being more loving.
Al Earley is pastor of LaGrange Presbyterian Church in LaGrange, Kentucky. To learn more about him or read previous columns, visit lagrangepres.org.