I recently spent a few moments in Bob Goff’s book, Love Does. I was immediately reminded of some thought-provoking statements that I think are worth thinking about again.
The masterfully-written “story” book gives one illustration after the other from Bob’s life, and it seems everything he did was with the greatest of excitement, anticipation and mostly whim. Yet it was done from love-in-action. Bob was a learner through life’s experiences and his “I used to think . . . but now I know” thoughts are challenging. Here are a few of them that I hope will encourage you during these days:
- I used to be afraid that if I was authentic, I might take a hit, but now I know that being real means I will take a hit.
- I used to think God wouldn’t talk to me, but now I know I’m just selective with what I choose to hear.
- I used to think life could be shared with anyone, but now I know choosing the right people is pretty important.
- I used to think the words spoken about us describe who we are, but now I know they shape who we are.
- I used to think I had to be somebody important to accomplish things, but now I know Jesus uses ordinary people more.
- I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.
- I used to think I could shape the circumstances around me, but now I know Jesus uses circumstances to shape me.
- I used to think I needed to sacrifice for God, but now I know faith is like a game of Bigger and Better. This story was a delightful story of playing the game of Bigger and Better where children go through the neighborhood and ask for something bigger in exchange for what they had. This illustrates that Jesus asks us to give up our pride for something bigger and better: following him.
One of my takeaways from the book is that love does not settle. It’s easy for us to get into routines of life where we have settled for what is most convenient and the least amount of effort. I think we have been rudely awakened the past few months to how quickly those routines can be changed. Bob suggested that even following Jesus can become a way of life that is a convenient routine of sorts. However, when we hear the words of Jesus, “Take up your cross and follow me,” it is not a life of settling for comfortable routine. We have all been inconvenienced lately, and hopefully it has made us more aware of the priorities that we have to work diligently to keep. Love-in-action is a life that is renewed day by day. What can we do today that is a love-in-action priority that perhaps we have just settled for in the past?
(By the way, a couple of years ago Bob wrote Love Does for Kids, and I think there are some deep lessons to learn in a fun way that only Bob can express. Good read for these homebound days.)