Tuesday, February 16, 2016

You are Jesus' Valentine

I love Valentine’s Day and have since I was a little girl. It’s never really been about romance for me. It’s more about the wonderful feeling you get when you share a little love, regardless of the type of relationship you inject it into. It’s a day we can get away with sharing more love without people thinking we’re up to something, looking for something in return, or just plain weird.

Part of my affection for Valentine’s Day is carried on throughout the year with heart motifs. I have cups, hand towels, note cards, pajamas and countless other things all with heart patterns on them. Almost every day I wear some piece of heart shaped jewelry. I love it so much that I have to be careful not to overdo the heart theme thing or else I’ll wind up looking like the crazy heart lady, first cousin to the crazy cat lady.

I gave up sending out Christmas cards, but I still like to send out Valentine cards. I try to send them to my family, close friends, and anyone that’s been on my heart recently. I also like to use Love stamps on them. I think that adds more of a personal touch than a metered postage sticker. Plus, they usually have hearts on them.

I went to our local post office early to buy the Love stamps. They have recently made some changes there. If your mailing address is a post office box, you used to get a yellow card in your box if someone sent you a package that was bigger than your box. You took that yellow card to the counter where a postal worker would then fetch your parcel from the back. Now, instead of a card, you get a key. That key is numbered and corresponds to an even larger mailbox that contains your oversized package. You no longer have to go to the counter or speak to a human. You simply take the key to the bigger box and retrieve the package yourself. You don’t even have to return the large-box key. It stays in the lock. All in the name of efficiency, I suppose.

While I’m on the subject of mail, is anyone else inundated with direct mail postcards that try to convince us to purchase postage without going to the post office? It seems like I get one about once a week. Many of them say I can print my own postage from my computer, or something similar. Again, I guess the attraction to it would be convenience along with time and cost efficiency.

The post office is not the only place we are serving ourselves. We don’t need a sales associate to ring us up when we shop online. We can set our own ratio of ice to soda at practically every fast food restaurant and even some sit-down ones. Walmart and Bi-Lo have self-check-out registers. Does anyone remember full-service gas stations?

I’m a ‘Git-R-Done’ kind of person who doesn’t like to waste time or effort if there’s a better way, but I’m coming to understand that the time I’ve gained in efficiently serving myself is precisely that, only serving myself. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I step back and look at the bigger picture I begin to realize it’s the total opposite of God’s idea on how I should be living my life.

Philippians 2 states that we get love’s comfort when we “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

My self-serve world has led me to sacrifice valuable opportunities to be served by others. It also robs me of human contact that could allow me a chance to serve someone else. If I’m not careful, eventually the only name on my Valentine card list will be my own.

Serving others takes effort. It is an investment. It might cost me something, but the benefit is a greater love you can’t get anywhere else. Jesus said it simply, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  He should know because that’s just what He did. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so. That’s the love I want to share with you this Valentine’s Day. 

This was originally posted February 14, 2016 on www.walterborolive.com