, Corbin, KY


June 30, 2014

Now or Never

CORBIN — A story is told of an old widower who decided it was time to find a new wife. He chose to look for this new bride through the obituaries column; identifying new widows.

Ringing the doorbell of such a lady, he found himself invited in, acquainted and enjoying chocolate cake. He spontaneously popped the question. Her response, “I’ll have to think about it.” His response, “We’re too old. We don’t have time to think about it. It is now or never.”

Conspicuously, this is a preposterous proposal. Yet, there is a proposal that we all daily spontaneously should make without hesitating – to love God and neighbor. Making up our mind firmly without hesitation every morning saying “My number one goal today is to serve God and go to heaven.” Instantaneous should be our commitment to God’s commandment to love. “If you love me you will obey my commandments.” [John 14:15]

Procrastinating and postponing is what all of us are incline to do when facing tasks that require effort and determination. The commandments of God are no exception.  

Love (agape) requires putting aside one’s personal self-serving wishes and desires, to serve and please another; so well demonstrated by Christ himself as well as the extraordinarily self-less lives of all who are recognized as godly and holy.

All of us find all of the Ten Commandments challenging. Each requires of us time and effort to suppress our natural tendency of self-gratification. Love is caring, pleasing, and serving another, be it God or neighbor. Love is not natural it is supernatural; an attribute and endowment given by God for our asking. In our price–tag society, where everything is appraised according to its monetary value, many find the price tag of God’s commandments (and even more so the specifics of the Gospel of Jesus which requires forgiving, loving and even serving one’s enemy) as exorbitant, outrageous, unreasonable, unnatural and realistically impossible.

With such a popular mindset of God and his laws, so many people are found not only to postpone loving (God and neighbor), but permanently dismissing as unrealistic idealizations; never really expected by God for our serious pursuit and obedience.

What a confirmation of Jesus’ statement “I am the vine you are the branches...apart from me you can do nothing.” [John 15:5]

Every day is high time we all spontaneously and joyfully fulfill God’s law of love.

The Rev. John Burkhart  Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of  psychology blog at inspirationsandideas


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