Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Loving Him Before All Else

This season of the year gets me so pumped to live. I am actually always so grateful to live, but as soon as mid-April hits and the sunshine and the warmth thaw winter's chill, I find myself so extra excited about life. I am excited about warm weather, sunshine, outdoor barbeques, fresh vegetables, the upcoming end of another school year, getting a tan (or a burn as the case may be), swimming, late evening concerts in the grassy parks along the Hudson, trips to the beach, camping under the stars, parades in the streets, picnics in the fields, summer reading...

I love these little pleasures of life so much, and it really is truly quite exciting to anticipate the gratification of all of these delights. I am so thankful, too, that these excitements are not without meaning and that somehow in the midst of enjoyment, in the midst of gratitude, in the midst of the savoring of the moment, I find myself a recipient, not only of temporary happiness, but of the eternally marvelous imagination and creativity of God who beheld this world and pronounced it good. Yes, that is a gift of grace.

But, in the midst of the goodness of so much, it is also easy for me to get so, so excited that I need to intentionally be quiet, to pause, to remember to say, as with the psalmist, "I have set the Lord always before me." The pulse of life is wonderful and good and a great gift, but all of these wonderful things are but a drop in the bucket of pleasure compared to the fullness of satisfying my created purpose: to love God first, to love Him before all things.

So as I find that my appetite for sunshine and warmth and life grows with the changing seasons, I do well to ponder, again with the psalmist, the truest source of all praise, "Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips will praise thee."

His love is better than life. Loving Him is better than life. And life is really good. How much more His love.