A Timely Reminder

Friday afternoon I was reading Roman a story about the famous race car, Lightning McQueen. As the story goes, “What he wanted most was to win!” I paused, thinking a bit of discussion would improve his comprehension. (Yes I’m a teacher and can’t help myself.)

So I asked him,”Is that a good thing to want most?” I expected he would know it was not. After all we’ve read the story before, and the moral is clearly taught that relationships and people matter more than winning. So I expected an answer somewhat related to that theme. I guess I was thinking far too small.

“No.” Roman answered, to which I responded, “What should he have wanted most?”

“To know and love Jesus,” came his simple, yet oh so profound response! Not exactly what I was looking for, but such a great reminder.

On some days I can honestly say that to know and love Jesus is what I want most. But on others, I have to admit that winning sounds pretty good and I can easily be distracted from my ultimate obsession. I can identify with McQueen. I want what will make me feel accomplished, successful, fulfilled. I want what will give me a measure of satisfaction. And I mistakenly think that I can achieve those selfish ends.  But when I ask my heart, “What should I want most?” And the answer rings out with a four-year-old’s lilt, “to know and love Jesus” I am suddenly stopped short with the fact that this ultimate obsession is truly the only thing that will bring satisfaction. And it is only possibly because Jesus loved me first.

I was reminded of this while listening to a radio interview of Gary Chapman last week. He was asked, “What do you say to a spouse who is really desirous and willing to work on the marriage, but their partner is either indifferent or hostile to the idea of repairing the marriage?” His comment resonates with me. Chapman went back to Jesus reminding his listeners that we love him because he first loved us. Then he made the compelling statement, “Somebody has to love first!”

As I contemplate the amazing truth that Jesus loved first, I am overwhelmed. I am undone. I am completely awestruck!  And suddenly I see that to know and love Jesus is not my obligation, it is my deepest desire. Because it is not my gift to Him, but rather His gift to me.

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