Left Turns and Following the Way of Love

And if I have prophetic powers,

and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,

but do not have love, I am nothing.

~1Corinthians 13:2

Today is Valentine’s Day and I feel compelled to consider whether or not I am following the way of love.

Recently I needed to be in the Bay Area by 9am on a Monday morning. Knowing I would would get caught in commuter traffic, I was in my car by 5:15am. My Map App showed that the most familiar route was longer than an alternate route due to an accident. So I decided to trust the way what I did not know as well.

Following this route, the right way required making left after left turn. This was so counterintuitive. I was going south in order to drive faster while heading north and then west. How could this be faster than going a little north and then straight west as I normally do? I kept doubting whether I really following the right way.

As I drove in the dark, I thought for verse two of 1Corinthians 13. The way of love is not about making familiar right turns based on my religious power and prayers, or on my own interpretation of Scripture and knowledge of who God is. Moreover, my conjuring up miraculous signs of faith will not prove me to be more loving.

I made the left turns trusting I was following the right way. In my spiritual life that means humbly praying the way God wants me to pray. It entails trusting that God is at work in the lives of those I love in ways I cannot fathom. And it requires believing God will help me love beyond what feels possible!

Today more than ever, I want to be more than nothing. I want to be the someone Paul challenges me to be throughout 1 Corinthians 13. No matter how counterintuitive it feels at the moment, may our hearts make the right and left turns, required to faithfully follow the way of love.

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