Given the choice, what special ability would you like to have? Would it be flight, invisibility or the strength of an entire Spartan army? What about never having to actually breathe? I think that would be a fun party trick. Next question, now that you’ve mentally picked out your superpower, what are you going to do with it? Is your newfound super strength the source of your own amusement or is it a skill used to save others trapped in a disaster? Now that you can sing better than anyone on the planet, are you simply raking in the money and the awards along with the applause or are you visiting children who are too sick to attend one of your sold out concerts? That book you penned, the one that was deemed better written than the work Fitzgerald himself, what have you done with the proceeds? Bought property in parts of the globe you’ll never visit or used it to fund housing projects for our homeless veterans? We all have a superpower whether we realize it or not. What matters most, is not the talent itself but what we do with it.
Having the gift of words is a useful skill when it comes to stringing nouns and adjectives together in sentences that shine brighter than Christmas lights on a winter night. On the opposing end however, it requires much thought and thinking too much is often bad for the reality we live in. Over-analysis causes paralysis that pulls us right out of the moments we’re currently in and then we miss something that won’t ever be seen or heard again. Tragic isn’t it? To be so caught up in our selves and our thoughts, in our own little lives, that we miss a moment that wanted to be our most treasured memory. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to be present in life. To do this, it’s imperative to act with heart. What does that mean? The main point is to step outside of yourself. Treat everything and everyone as ‘you before me’ especially if every human around you is doing the opposite. Please do not blame those who cannot see beyond themselves, it is not their fault, selfishness is the default setting of humanity. We are literally born this way and the only thing I know for certain that changes our self-absorption into something beneficial for ourselves and the world, is walking with God. There is a reason scripture says; “stay in step with the spirit” because it is ridiculously easy to wonder. Like I said, selfish is our default. In order to change that, we need to embody the opposite, which is love. Love is all we need. No matter what creed, race, gender etc. is reading these words there is certainly no argument against the love factor. We may be inherently selfish but God is so good that He not only gave us free will, which means we can be selfish for as long as we’d like but He also created us with a fundamental need for love, knowing it would eventually lead us back to Him. How cute is that? All we have to do is put aside ourselves in order to find the thing that is better than magic.
Tragic isn’t it? To be so caught up in our selves and our thoughts, in our own little lives, that we miss a moment that wanted to be our most treasured memory.-Genevieve Rose
Knowing where love comes from is how we find the kind that lasts, not the cheap imitations that we tend to cling to. The origin of love itself is Jesus Christ. I know the ‘J’ word freaks people out but this is in no way a conversion to Christianity attempt, I’m simply stating life as I know it. This is how I live a life of love, by staying in step with Jesus, the source of love itself.
Now fast forward a little bit from the initial Eureka moment of salvation in Christ to the rest of a long, tough journey of loving everybody and everything to the best of our ability. I feel like far too many people, whether they are best friends with Jesus or not, fail to use love to the fullest degree. Love is a superpower. It is the only superpower us mortals have access to and it absolutely breaks my heart knowing that some people don’t even know they are superheroes, they try to get around the best they can on two feet while tripping over on their capes. The nonsensical fumbling makes me sigh and think, oh darling, just fly. I have seen so many Clark Kents walk right by phone booths because they were preoccupied with cleaning their glasses.
We have all that we need and we need all that we have. None of us is special-love is what makes us special. Loving when it’s not easy is what makes us spectacular. Why not try to love more? Set aside yourself, suspend the constant care of personal feelings and devote five minutes a day to the greater good. Love someone, anyone, anything, as best you know how. Just remove yourself from the equation, be selfless. You can still love when you’re tired, hungry or angry. The more you practice the easier it gets and oh my goodness, it is so rewarding. When I go out and love people just for the sake of doing so I can literally feel my heart warm up and my mood, whether it was good or bad, becomes irrelevant because loving people is pure joy. It is better than a full tank of gas, a cozy blanket and a great book, even that post-workout high doesn’t come close to what love does. It’s like a drug that is good for the soul.
Before the readers of Mindless Peace start rolling their eyes thinking I’m a SweeTart who’s just really good at this whole compassion thing, let me just confess that I am not. Just like my face in the morning, love takes work. If I cared for others based on my own ability, that would be the emotional version of a hurricane. If I loved people in my own will, I’d ruin everything in my path. If it were up to me exclusively, I’ll admit I like drama and making messes because that entertains me but who is that good for, honestly? Dark and twisty has nothing-nothing-on being bright and shiny. How does a person who feels everything deeply and gets a rush out of messy situations love the world and all its inhabitants? I simply throw myself on the mercy and grace of the Lord every single day and pray that He does not let me be me but instead, uses me to love all these other people who happen to be His children too. You see? None of this love is up to me, I am simply along for the ride.
Find your superpower, doing this will allow you to love the most people at the deepest level. It’s very easy. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? Could you put those things together and maybe save the world? Think about it. Start right where you are. Don’t waste time thinking through the endless if/when statements, there will always be a reason to not do something, don’t listen. Do it now. Love people now.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.-1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)
A personal anecdote of mine would be the other day when I was at the box (gym) I saw a little boy that I’ve seen a few times before playing outside. His parents own the neighboring business. Before I go any further, I need to say that I have never been very good with kids. I used to say, “anyone thirteen and under I can’t interact with because I just stand there with my hand out like, hello what do you do?” Just so incredibly awkward. Also, children move fast and it makes me nervous because I don’t have good balance and I feel like I’m going to trip on them. Nevertheless, I go out of my way to love children now because that’s one area of my life in which I feel very selfish and I am determined to change that. I arrived half an hour early and I was excited to sit out in the sun and read my new book. Then I saw my little friend. I could have ignored him and went inside until he got bored and forgot he saw me. Or I could be love. Why not? I may not be here tomorrow and spending thirty minutes with kids, remembering to enjoy simplicity is not something I will regret. He had a friend with him and the two boys were very intrigued and delighted by Teva. It wasn’t long before I put my book back in the car and was joking around with the kids. They were bursting with energy and so curious about life. I may be awkward with kids but what’s great about kids is-they do not care. If I had three eyes they would think that’s pretty cool. All kids want to do is explore, have fun and apparently, touch my dog’s butt. I didn’t mind and Teva didn’t either. Find your superpower. What do you enjoy? What are you best at? How can you love the world through it? Please don’t stop to question the validity or even the sanity of your passion, just roll with it. Do you love plants? Please bring more oxygen to the Earth then because she needs it. Do you love videography? Love the world through heartfelt filmmaking then. Do you have skills with numbers? Become an honest accountant. Do you love to argue? Be a lawyer with integrity. What bothers you about the world? Can you use your superpower of love to help fix that problem? Love is only hard if we use our own energy but thankfully, we don’t have to. Quit tripping on your cape. Cling to Christ, the source of pure love itself then feel the wind beneath your cape and fly.