Maybe the variety of nature can help us laugh at ourselves, and grow in our appreciation for one another… while still taking life seriously.
Scientists estimate that the number of species on earth ranges somewhere between 5 and 30 million, with about 8 million different kinds of bugs.
Could there be a parallel between what our God has done in the wonder of creation, and the countless individual expressions of his workmanship in us (Eph 2:10)?
Look at how different we all are. Consider the way his word filters through each of our lives like sunlight through a prism. Then look at the countless ways each of us attempts to apply something as basic as the principle of love to the individual circumstances and relationships of our lives.
On one hand we might think that we know what such love looks like. After all, the Apostle Paul tells us. He says that the love of God is patient and kind, while not being jealous, boastful, or proud. In addition he writes that this love never loses faith, never demands its way, and never gives up (1Cor 13 NLT).
But knowing these marks of love does not tell us what they will end up looking like when passed through the personality of our own lives. So much of living by the wisdom of the Bible involves judging for ourselves how to apply the timeless, unchanging principles of God.
Even though the Scriptures call us all of us to the same virtues, nowhere do we have a picture of what loving patience, hope, and kindness are to look like in any given situation.
For example, after being hurt by another, we might intuitively sense what a Christ-like response would be and act on it– or we may consciously weigh the options before us. The choices of application can multiply. We may find ourselves weighing whether loving patience will wait and do nothing, ignore the wrong, gently confront, or creatively look for a way to return good for evil? There’s no way to avoid using our own judgment as we in turn trust the Lord to help us.
Regardless of the process, it is difficult if not impossible to avoid the messy, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking ways in which we each try to determine what love and patience look and sound like in our ever-changing, individual, and shared experiences.
If our ability to “be right” wasn’t so secure in Christ, seems to me that the call to love God, and one another, would be so daunting… that we’d be far less able to laugh at ourselves… and with one another… while reflecting on the many ways we all “see through a glass darkly”– not only the future– but ourselves and one another as well.