SHORTENING MY VOWS
Matthew 22:37-38 KJV
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment”
New Living Translation (NLT)
“37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Shortly before or after my baptism by immersion, in Jesus’ name, I made some vows to Him. This was not at the same time as my repentance.
So I have messed up on some of them. I will have good intentions, start something, and not follow through. Jesus wants me not only to Follow Him, but Follow Through on what I have said I would do for/with Him. I will often feel totally overwhelmed by all I think I need to do, especially when I am not feeling well.
… There’s always something …
I redid my vows a couple times in the past almost four years since Jesus rescued me, including just a week or so ago. He is probably either disgusted or laughing. I wrote them on the computer and then put them on 3-by-5 cards in braille. My vows took up twelve cards! Now wait a minute! Yes, braille takes up more room than print, however, still … how wordy could I get? There’s no way I could do all of what I wrote down. Sure it would be nice, but I bit off more than I could chew and He knows it. I could take one thing at a time and work on it and then other items would be short-changed. I could prioritize them and work on the most important one, whichever that one is. I could go to Twitter and tweet a 140-character version …
I mulled over my list, praying about it, taking quite a lot of time and effort really intent on figuring out what to do; how to find one thing that would cover everything I wrote. and the answer I got was “Just love me.” That made me cry.
Just because I wrote a lot of term papers in school, doing a lot of research and stuff (which I didn’t really like doing) doesn’t mean I need to treat Jesus as one to write a term paper on. He doesn’t expect me to be so thorough and still not get to the main point. Yes, loving Him was in there, but in the middle of everything else. Doing His will was in there too. I mean, there are good points for me to pray about, and I did pray about shortening what I had written. However, I never got it anywhere near one short sentence “Just love me.”
How many people claim to be Christians and they don’t even really love Jesus. They admire Him. They respect Him. They might know something about Him. But love?
I wouldn’t have been rebaptized if I didn’t love Him. Of course I love Him–a lot! However, not only have I let a lot of worldly stuff take focus, like getting the right chair and the right hospital bed and trying to stay off of my left knee–my prayers have even been on that stuff instead of just telling Him that I love Him, and meaning it.
“Jesus, I do love You. I want other people to love You, too. I want them to know that they don’t need to just not get around to committing themselves to You because they’d have to do this, and not do that, and make things really complicated like I have done. All that busy work! I realize that all they need to do is to love You, and go from there. I hope and pray that I can be a better example of just loving You, and not writing out a book about it.
“Just love me!” “Yes, I do! And, my friends, so can you!”