Remember to Love

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

In Better than Before, Gretchen Rubin identifies the “Essential Seven” – seven categories of habits that we most commonly want to change; they are the focus, no doubt, of most new year’s resolutions.

I’ll bet you can name them without even looking at the list because, like me, you’ve probably vowed to do better at one or all of them somewhere along the way.

Here are Rubin’s “Essential Seven”:

  1. Eat and drink more healthfully
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Save, spend, and earn wisely
  4. Rest, relax, and enjoy
  5. Accomplish more, stop procrastinating (…like finally start a blog!)
  6. Simplify, clear, clean, and organize
  7. Engage more deeply in relationships – with other people, with God, with the world

And while all of these areas of our lives contain the makings for good and healthy new year’s resolutions, there is one resolution for 2018 that I pray will  be at the top of your list and mine, for without it none of the others really amount to much in the end.

It is simply this – “Remember to Love.”

I was in New York City in September 2011, ten years after the attack on the World Trade Center.  As I walked through the yard of St. Paul’s Chapel across the street from where the towers fell, I was overwhelmed by all of the white ribbons hanging from trees and railings and posts.

St PaulsAnywhere there was room to tie a knot, folks had taken a white ribbon with the words “Remember to Love” printed on it and offered up their common prayer.  The church, which on 9/11 had been turned into a triage center for the wounded and the lost, provided the ribbons as a way to focus our lingering grief and to remind us of the one goal that can truly unite us and the one action that can truly save us.

Remember to Love.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind – Luke 10:27

Have you picked a resolution for 2018 yet?  Did any of the 18 Habits for 2018 resonate with you?

During the month of January I’ll be exploring different resolutions that can help us to love – habits of the heart, soul, strength and mind.   We can’t be equally intentional about all of them, or even about most of them.  But my prayer is that each of us will find the one resolution that we need right now, in this moment as we start a new year, to love and to live in ways that honor God most.

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