Pause

“Omg. LOVE.” When a thumbs-up “like” is not enough, “LOVE” is what we write under a friend’s Facebook picture of her puppy. Love means “extreme like,” right?

But what if it’s more? Jesus makes love the core of his message, the key that unlocks everything else.

What if the love he speaks of is more than your momentary preferences? What if the love he speaks of is a choice? What if it’s harder than the love the world speaks of, but also bigger?

What if that kind of love is the only thing that can ever change us?

Maybe that love begins with an earnest look toward heaven, the sincere words on our lips: “Oh. My God.”

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Listen

Those whose way is blameless— who walk in the Lord’s Instruction—are truly happy! Those who guard God’s laws are truly happy! They seek God with all their hearts. They don’t even do anything wrong! They walk in God’s ways.

Psalm 119:1-3

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Think

"Blameless"? "Doing nothing wrong"? Who can live up to that? Between homeroom and third period or waking up and walking to campus, most of us have already had at least one mean thought or ignored one person.

But "guarding God’s laws" and "walking in God’s ways"? Maybe that’s something we can get our heads around. Psalm 119, the longest psalm there is, is all about setting our internal dial to God’s word.

I ask myself regularly, What leads to real happiness? When was I last truly happy?

Although I look to my phone, my friends, new books, or new clothes, if I’m honest I say this: Happiness comes when I’m consciously walking with God.

When I rise early to talk to the one who made me, to feel God’s love and admit where I went wrong or need help; when I soak in the personal letters in the Bible and end the day by thanking God, that’s when I’m happiest. I blame myself less. I worry less about being wrong.

Have you tried it?

Cari Pattison

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Pray

God of love, give me the desire to walk in your ways. Set my internal dial to your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

Go now into the world
carried in the arms of love,
emboldened by the voice of love,
and sheltered under the wings of love.

Go now into a world
enslaved to a false love,
desperate for a word of love,
and more open than you can imagine to the God of love.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and has served for eight years as the Associate Minister for The Reformed Church of Bronxville, a congregation just north of New York City. Originally from Kansas City, Cari fiercely loves the Royals (baseball), along with her family of Mom, Dad, and brothers. She teaches fitness classes and yoga and is presently on study leave — a fellowship through Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.

Ken Medema

Callings: Be Thou My Vision

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