Yesterday I spotted single yellow leaf waving on the tree outside my front door. Today there were two.
Ready or not fall is coming.
New seasons bring with them new goals, new schedules, new rhythms, new to-do lists. The gusts of frenzied wind is not only outside our windows. We pat down our wind blown hair and hold on to our composure and hope that somehow all our efforts at order and success will be fruitful.
We have lists a mile long. Deadlines for big projects. Household tasks that never seem to end. Sports practices and music rehearsals to attend. Self-improvement goals. Resolutions and chores and meetings and seminars and trips and … and…
Somewhere, in the unnoticed clenched jaw, in the slight unease in the back corner of our heart, we are all thinking one thing.
I hope the work ahead of me matters.
I hope that the things that I am devoting my time, my energy, MY LIFE to – I hope that they matter.
We’ve all done things that have felt worthless. We’ve had pursuits were in vain, spent time that was wasted, devoted time to something that was meaningless. And its left us scared silly that, at the end of the day, our hours of toil will be nothing but noise. A resounding gong echoing in a dark void. A cymbal, clanging loudly in an abandoned room.
So at the start of this new season, this new semester, this new school year, we’re all hoping that the things that we’ve jotted down in our bullet journals and the items we’ve added to in our calendars and the jobs we’ve committed ourselves to will mean something in the grand scheme of this crazy world.
There was a group of people in Corinth a few thousand years ago that wondered the same thing. They were pursuing big things, things that sounded impressive, that would have looked good on a resume, that made them important. They wanted their words to be dripping in eloquence and potency. They wanted to have great knowledge and an audience that would listen to and respect them. They wanted to change the world, extravagantly giving away money and perhaps even dying for a cause.
They were told they could do all this, they could pursue and posses the greatest abilities they could imagine. But there was one thing that, if lacking, would nullify all their wildest dreams and ambitious pursuits.
Love was the only thing that would make their work matter. And it is the only thing that makes our work matter.
We can achieve every goal on our to-do list. We can accomplish all the tasks expected of us. We can go further and do more than anyone would have thought possible. We can be bestsellers, we can become CEOs or presidents, we can be world changers. We can even die. But without love we are nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Take another look at your plans for the fall. Are they about accomplishing more and moving further up a ladder, or is it about lavishly, generously, outrageously loving the people in your life?
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.