“But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.”
Even though it was one of those gorgeous days in Florida, I was feeling lonely and left out because it was my son Michael’s thirty-seventh birthday and he was a thousand miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I missed all four of my children and their families, scattered in California, Wisconsin, and Ohio. I was feeling envious of my snow-bird friends who only come to Florida for the winter and then head back north to be near their kids and grandkids.
I’d already left two messages on Michael’s home phone and two on his cell phone. Where is he? I’d sung “Happy birthday” off-key—twice—and I wanted to talk to my son!
Finally, late that night, I checked my messages and there was a long, over-the-top-happy message from Michael. “Mom, it’s been a great day! We all went to church. Then Amy and the kids took me out to brunch and then home, where I opened gifts. Thanks for the shirts and the tie—they’re terrific! Then I got to play golf with a good friend all afternoon on a perfect gorgeous day. Right now I’m relaxing in my hammock, Amy’s baking my birthday cake, the pizza’s on its way, and later I’m going to go play basketball. Mom, sometimes I feel like an old man, but my wonderful wife and kids made this such an extra-special day for me that I can’t complain. I even loved your singing. Call me! I love you!”
I couldn’t have topped that day for my son, no matter what I did. I didn’t get to hug him in person, but that phone call sure made me feel like I’d been hugged.”
“Lord, help me to treasure every phone call, e-mail, letter, and visit with my kids and to be grateful they’re all on their own making their own happiness.”
Daily Guideposts 2011
God created each and every one of us as extremely needy people. We are all, without exception, longing for good solid interpersonal relationships. As people, we long for and delight in good communication, conversation, and just plain hanging around each other….it’s called camaraderie. It is the very way that God made us to be and wired us to exist on this earth.
The facts are that there are tremendous numbers of lonely people on the earth today. It would completely surprise you to know just how many people there are within your immediate circle of family, friends, associates, and relatives who are all by themselves,…at least within their own minds. They feel that they have been forgotten about and that nobody, even their own blood, really cares about them anymore. They live by keeping mostly to themselves. They rarely interact with other people even when the opportunity to do so is presented. These type people usually have no real spiritual root to their life; certainly not a deep and growing one. They may know about God, but they don’t really know Him personally. They have very little, if any, intimate communication with their own Creator. Sad,….really sad isn’t it? They have no real prayer time with their Heavenly Father. It is no wonder whatsoever why they are so lonely.
Our culture today is far different from that of our parents. The world just somehow grew and changed from a close-knit family unit style which was lived under a nice set of rules and operating procedure that carried with it lots of structure and punctuality. Meals were served at he same time everyday. People all conversed with each other. The entire family talked with good communication one with another during the entire meal. Togetherness and intimacy were the norm for the family unit. No television interrupted the theme or storyline of what was being discussed at the table. Newspapers, books, or magazines were not allowed to accompany one to his assigned eating place while he was at the table.
All family members and guests were considered to be the most important people in the room. Everyone’s input was requested and heard. People’s position or point of view was respected even when there was disagreement by and between parties.
Not so today….is it? We all seem to be going in our own direction at our own pace without any concern for the other people who are a part of our life. Few, if any, meals are taken and enjoyed together. When we do eat at the same place,…television, radio, computers, cell phones and texting take up all of our individual attention leaving no time to hear the other person’s point of view.
Selfishness is the watchword of the day….“I am the most important person in the room and my needs are to be addressed first”…..sound familiar?
These kinds of breakdowns within the interpersonal relationships of human beings are what divide and separate us from each other. They have a hardening effect on our hearts and attitudes. If I am so very busy doing all the things I have to do in my life,…then how in the world am I ever going to have any time for you and your needs?
The God’s Truth of the matter is simply this….like it or not,…..You can have or get anything in life that you want,…if…..you help enough other people get what they want first!
Now that requires a 180 degree turn-around change in the vast majority of people’s minds and thought processes. The only way I can help another person get what they want before I can get what I want…is for me to demote myself to a secondary position or role and serve that other person’s needs first…before my own needs, i.e. put the other person first…before me.
Oh my! That means I would have to put the other man or woman in first place and myself in last place. Oh no…that just doesn’t sound right,…does it?
Well, here is what God has to say about these sorts of things. Remember the best servant leader,…the best example of real leadership on earth was and still is the Lord Jesus Christ.
God tells us and shows us by the example of His Son, Jesus Christ, that the absolute best type of leader is a servant leader. That would be one who puts all other’s wants and needs first before his own. Only a true servant’s heart with the best interests of other people in one’s mind would qualify a person to be in such a great position of leadership! In the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 1-5 NKJV Jesus lays it all out for His disciples to learn and understand.
Who is the Greatest:
(1) “At the time the disciples came to Jesus saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’
(2) Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
(3) and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
(4) Therefore whoever humbles himself as the little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(5) Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”
True love is really an action,…much more than a word….It is an action more than an euphoric feeling towards another person. If you truly do love someone, then you will be the very best example of a servant to them as you possibly can be. You will provide for and protect them at all costs to yourself. You will regularly communicate with them. You will help them in any and all ways as is possible. You will care for them and provide for their needs. You will always put them in the first priority position and yourself in the last position as the example for how much you care for them.
You will know in your own heart when you are doing this and so will they. The Holy Spirit will convict you to serve them.
The result to you will be a joyful acceptance of you by them, and your grateful acknowledgement within your own heart that you served your loved one. Peace and joy will reign in your heart.
So, if you desire to show, demonstrate, and provide love to another person,…it all begins with your willingness to take the initiative, and begin a good and proper communication with them.
Thoughtfully speak to them…or…take the time to drop them a letter…(preferably hand-written)…or…send them an e-mail,…or…the very best way is to pay them a personal physical visit. Being together even for a little while is the very best way to let another person know that you truly do love them.
Remember love is an action word and the actions you take always speak much louder and stronger than any words you say.
As the old song says:…“Everybody loves somebody,….somewhere.”
God’s Greatest Blessings to All of You……………..