Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not What I Want, but What You Want

These past 11 months, I've had a lot of time to think about the way life works. I pretty much don't have any answers, but I do have a working theory about one thing. It has to do with how we love.

A boy and a girl are playing together outside. The boy says, "I really, really, really want to play in the sandbox" and the girl says, "Well, I want to play in the treehouse." The boy replies, "Okay, I'll do what you want to do." Pretty simple, right? Not so fast.

Even on the most basic of levels, this little boy has not just given in to the request of his friend - he has demonstrated to her selfless love. He *wanted* something else. He did what would make his friend happy. He did what she wanted. (Please, let's leave out the fact that we can never truly know the particular intentions of the boy's heart.)

We have to make choices like this every day. Will we lay aside our own desires - our own wants and longings - for the sake of others? Ultimately, to do so is to love.

One word of clarification: I dare say that there is a world of difference between "being willing" to love in this way and actually "doing" love in this way. A willingness will always bear fruit in action. We do what we desire. We pursue what we are passionate about - what interests us. If we are willing to love selflessly, let us show it, for if we do not show it, we prove that the desire was truly never in us.

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