“The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by.” ~Mrs. O’Brien (played by Jessica Chastain), The Tree of Life (2011).
“Long life is in wisdom’s right hand.
In wisdom’s left hand are riches and honor.”
~Proverbs 3:16 (GW).
A long life is a scary existence to the fearful. Their experience of life might better resemble death than life. But there’s always hope in everyone’s life; that light might achieve receptivity within the hearts and minds of those estranged to God and, therefore, love.
Love’s a thing won away from selfishness, self-pity, sedition, and pride, and won to relational surrender, selflessness, and perseverance.
It’s a thing that’s highly idealistic yet intensely practical.
Love is a full life because it’s given to overflow; not via the form of activity but through the engagement of the senses and intuition in the realm of reality, and therefore meaning.
A life sold to love has given itself away so it can become itself. This is where life truly begins; not beforehand.
Wisdom and Love
When we approach matters of life and love and wisdom, we see that wisdom is above love, but only by the way it can explain the truth of love — why love is the only sensible choice to live life by.
Wisdom knows it; love achieves it. Love perpetuates this wisdom: that a long life is possible only by giving ourselves away.
Long life, by manner of the meaning packed into life’s years, is the logical result of hating what can be stolen in life and loving what can be given.
Love: the Gospel Message
Three times in Mark’s gospel we find Jesus teaching on love being the way of losing its life so it can be saved, desiring to be least, and being last and servant of all; to be slave of all, destined to serve and not be served (Mark 8:35; 9:35; 10:44-45).
Life in the eternal realm makes no sense until we understand this principle and begin to apply it.
When others are blessed in the smallest of kindnesses, then we know love. We’ve exhibited it and we’ve experienced it; firstly, by the exhibition of loving our neighbours as ourselves, and secondly, by the experience of God’s infilling of love.
That’s the Gospel message. That’s how we love God; by loving others in almost self-secretive ways.
Where desires are lost reverently to God, God gives us more blessing than we can even absorb. This makes for a full life; full days enlivened with meaning make for long life.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.