The Greatest Commandment
Current System Configuration: Exam Week Mode
–Over the Rainbow by Freedom Call [Power Metal] A very beautiful song. It opens with a lovely church organ solo, very dark and baroque, and segues into an uplifting song about persevering toward one’s glorious eternal destiny. The guitar solo is particularly amazing—sure, it isn’t as neckbreakingly fast as Through the Fire and the Flames, but I really find the combination of the dark, rich sound of a church organ and the soaring wail of an electric guitar soul-piercingly wonderful.
Star rise and lead me home! [To a] Powerful kingdom of happiness!
[Breakfast] Grilled cheese sandwich
[Lunch] Chicken cordon bleu and my brother’s special spicy tuna pasta
[Dinner] none yet
[Coffee] Starbucks Grande mocha frappuccino with a double shot of espresso. Argh, I really need caffeine in my veins today.
none. Argh, I want to read so badly.
Yesterday I encountered a rather despicable Bible character who isn’t given much attention. King Jehoram of Judah reigned after two good kings, Asa and Jehoshaphat. Jehoram was Jehoshaphat’s heir, and he was nothing like his father or his grandfather. For starters, when he acceded to the throne, he killed off all his brothers and all the princes. He reverted to the idolatrous worship of the Baals and took the nation with him. Because of this, God abandoned him and Jehoram failed miserably in quelling an Edomite revolt. Eventually, the prophet Elijah wrote a letter to him, telling him that his days were numbered and that he was going to die of a painful intestinal disease. At the end of his life, his guts came out, and he died in great pain, “to no one’s regret.” What a way to go.
Imagine dying and no one mourning for you. I can only assume that he was a man who never loved.
Love, a poor word often misunderstood by this generation. Many people see it as merely an issue of the glands, merely a matter of preference, merely a passing emotion. To the abyss with all this drivel.
Love is an action. Hence, “I love you.” “I” is the subject of that declarative sentence. “Love” is the action, and “you” is the object. When one says “I love you,” it is a declaration of an action. Not an emotion. This action entails more than just the hormonal oozing of one’s endocrines. This is an act of the will and of the heart.
One’s will chooses to love. One’s heart sustains that choice, because it is often irrational.
Love is an unconditional commitment to the greatest good of another, usually resulting in sacrifice.
This was Pastor Peter’s definition of the l-word, and I do think it sums up the concept quite clearly. We don’t love based on condition, we just do. Sure, at first we are attracted to someone because of his or her looks and personality, but after getting to know that person and enduring all the pain associated with human interaction, that is when we can say that we love that person.
Yes, this is much, much easier said than done. That’s the deal with Christianity, it was never meant to be easy–in fact, many times it seems to be the hardest way to live. But isn’t that what the right way often is? The Commandment to Love is so simple, so broad. It gives us so much leeway to do it, perhaps because of its sheer difficulty. It’s all about someone else–first about God, then about the other person. These two go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive. One cannot love out of one’s own power, one needs God’s love in order to give love to others. On the other hand, we cannot claim to love God if we don’t love the other.
I really pray that all Christendom would remember this Commandment. Sure, it’s hard to do, but if we have everybody trying, maybe people will actually stop mocking us for our faith and see Christ’s point.
“By this it will be clear to all men that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -Jesus Christ, John 13:35.
Trying to love,
Your Black Lion
PS: On the topic of love, here’s a really interesting poem–from Magic: The Gathering.
Oh no, he just had to revert to his geeky self again, you say. Hear me out, and just read it. It’s a poem of rather epic length, but I just love the imagery. It was written for the Mirage block way back in 1997, and parts of its text were featured on a number of cards. This caused many players to be intrigued by the poem. The Wizards of the Coast website published it some time ago. The author of this poem is Jenny Scott, one of the designers working on the set. The set has an African theme, so you will see the influence of the said continent on the set. In the poem, Day is feminine while Night is masculine.
Tell why Truth must fight with Falsehood, and why Truth will always win. –Day
Your voice resounds like a songbird’s, every word is a sweet, soft song.
When you run you’re graceful and swift, sleek as a powerful panther.
Mysterious chameleon, you’re a thousand women at once,
sharp and strong as a lioness, yet gentle as a striped gazelle. –Night
I remember your sacred rites. You were so funny, so grown up,
so stiff and serious, all arms and elbows. You went in a girl,
but you returned a warrior. You marched back with the others–
your hair was cut, your eye tattooed with the red triangle of war. –Night
Night wears a black cloak lined with fire, studded inside with gleaming stars.
At dawn and dusk he spies his love. Across the rolling hills of sky,
they glimpse each other–so briefly. They throw each other kisses, cry.
Their tears spill over Jamuraa. Mixed with blood, they wash everything red.
But once, with a magician’s help, Time was stopped and Day stood still.
Night spread over Jamuraa, wrapped Day in his dark cloak and held her.
In their miraculous embrace, the two became as One. Until
pulled from Day’s arms, Night sank, commanded by the western horizon that always beckons him to come. –Day
I won’t give up hope, my love. –Night
The full text is here. Enjoy.