Our devotional for today comes to us from Laura Shaw. Laura is the Operations Coordinator in Student Development Services, and she also happens to be an Advisor for one of our Student Religious Organizations – Ignite. Those of you who know Laura know that she’s a great task master – she’s fantastic with budgets, spreadsheets, Excel files, advising a busy student organization, and with simply making sure things get done. But she’s also never been so busy that she couldn’t hit pause for a moment to say hello, offer a smile, or let me stop by her office for a quick chat. That’s one of the reasons I invited her to write a devotional for this Lenten season, and it seems appropriate that those qualities are woven into her words for us today. I appreciate her openness, and I trust that you’ll not only take a moment to read what she has to say, but truly hit pause and sit with those words for a moment. I hope that you’ll not only let them impact your day and your Lenten journey, but become an intentional way you choose to live your life. Blessings on your journey, friends…
February 18, 2016 By: Laura Shaw
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with each one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:10-18
This past weekend, many of us celebrated Valentines by giving chocolate, a thoughtful card, or flowers to friends and loved ones. While having a holiday on the calendar is a nice reminder to let others know that we appreciate them, Jesus calls us to love one another every day of the year. This season of Lent, I am being challenged to love others well.
Most mornings, I finally roll out of bed after my toddler, husband, and dog have all jumped into bed inviting me to join them in the new day. Once I am up, my to-do list and calendar rule my time until I crash into bed that evening. Throughout the day, I am not unkind to others, I am just going about my calendar. Recently, I have recognized that I am not intentional about loving others well and have daily missed opportunities to share love and joy. For the remainder of Lent, when I lay down at night I want to know that love has won each day, and not the calendar.
How can I love my neighbor? For me, I have decided to focus on three ways I can love others well. The first is with my words. Am I using my words in a kind and compassionate manner to encourage and build others up or am I using my words to complain? I am also focusing on living in peace with others. This means being quick to forgive (and to ask others for forgiveness), and giving others the benefit of the doubt. Finally, I am taking time each day to be present for someone else, rejoicing in successes, fulfilling a need, and/or faithfully praying. I am going to stop hiding behind my to-do list, and let love win.
God, help me to slow down in the busyness of the day and intentionally love others the way that you love each of us. Amen.