Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Don't Be Discouraged: It Takes Time to Grow in Love

It takes time to grow in love.

This is not an excuse for being lazy. If I sit back and say, "It takes time..." and use that as an excuse to do nothing, to say "I'll put off loving until tomorrow"--nothing can grow. Tomorrow never comes.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm lazy. We're all lazy. Let's face it.

But let's also dwell on this fact: if we are lazy, we will never grow in love.

These words, "growing in love," sound like a platitude. This is because we don't recognize that we are made for love, that all the turmoil inside of us is the anguished cry of our being, the cry for love. Even underneath our laziness is a kind of desperation to hold onto what we have, because we don't know if there is anything out there "beyond ourselves" and we don't want to take the risk.

But really, are you satisfied with what you have now. Really?

But then comes the other side of our laziness: discouragement. "I have tried to love before, but all I've done is mess things up. I don't know how to love and I don't want to try. It's too dangerous!"

This is a moment where my freedom is challenged in a critical way. I have a choice. I can give in to discouragement. Or I can acknowledge my poverty, and beg for help.

So we cry out for help. And maybe it feels like a waste of time, because help doesn't seem to be coming. But that is not true. Look! We are already doing something. In that begging is already the recognition that we need to love and to be loved. In that begging is already the recognition that there is someone worth loving. If I were really alone, it would never even occur to me to ask. Someone is already here, helping me now.

So I begin to love. And when I fail, I get up and try again. Because it takes time to grow in love.

3 comments:

Allison said...

John: Just what I need to read before I head to Confession this morning. I have fallen flat on my face in one area of my life. "Get up and try again." THANK YOU.

Hurt-ey said...

Thanks, Mr. Janaro! Needed that today. "Begin to love"...how? "Beg for help," I can do that though. Thanks!!

Karen said...

Yep...begging for help. Thank God for confession. I was there Wednesday. The laziness. The unwilingness at times. The sense of failure. But God's heart of mercy draws us close and turns us ever so slightly and once again there is hope and encouragement.