Thank you Westgate Church for all your cards and gifts on my birthday this past January 2nd. For my birthday I enjoyed a delicious Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord in East Earl, where you eat free on your birthday. I have never been to a larger Smorgasbord in my life and I chose not to eat all day to compensate for the caloric intake of the feed. Unfortunately I missed Steak and Sea Food Night but spent no time in remorse. No indeed, it was a festive hour and a half taste fest that would make our church social’s seem like a mere snack. If you can’t find food to like at Shady Maple then your just too picky. I loved the countless meats, vegetables, soups, specialty dishes, and deserts. I also enjoyed a few choice cuts at the grill areas. I had no trouble accepting the food choices…and did so with gratitude for all the wonderful choices before me.
Wouldn’t it be nice if human love would be a bit more like a cafeteria or smorgasbord…where we could freely exercise the power of choice so easily. What if you could look at a person with whom you live or know and choose what you want and pass on what you don’t like? If friends, co-workers and family could do this with unilateral authority. What if parents could do that with kids? “I will take a plate of good grades and a happy smile, and I will pass on teenage moodiness and identity crisis and future tuition bills.”
Better yet, what if kids could do the same with parents? “Please give me a helping of allowances and free lodging but no rules, responsibilities, or expectations.” What if a spouse could do this with their mate? “How about a bowl of good health and good moods. But job transfers, dirty laundry, and conflict resolution are not on my diet.”
In some ways it would be great if love were like a smorgasbord line. We could have our way and pass on what we don’t want. It would surely be a lot neater and easier. It would be painless and peaceful. But what it wouldn’t be is reality. It simply would not be life as it really is. And it wouldn’t be love either, for love tests the depth of us. And love doesn’t accept just a few things. Love is willing to endure and grow through many things. How do I know? I read the Good Book on a very regular basis and there is a Chapter that speaks about the true depth perfect Love. It’s a much deeper love than any Valentine Card or Candy could ever embody. Consider what is says…better yet pray for the spiritual power to embody it’s high calling.
1 Corithians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.