While packing up my office this week, I've rediscovered an assortment of random books I'd brought in over the last 13 months to fill my totes-profesh office shelf. Most of them were by Mother Theresa, as if I'd made a homelessness-relative rule about the books I'd keep with me here at the shelter. Truthfully, I don't think I ever read once on the job. Nonetheless, I fortuitously found one of my treasures, The Greatest Thing In The World by Henry Drummund, thinly tucked between two of my half-read Mother Theresa books.
I pulled back from what I was doing for a minute to skim the notes I'd made on the pages of this fragile and beautiful 1890 printed copy. I'd always admired how brief, yet profound and timeless, Drummond's words had been about love. I guess here in this moment, packing up my office and preparing my heart for goodbyes and change, I was also skimming for some small words of comfort.
Then I found them. The words I'd tucked away in my heart some two and half years ago, and knew I needed today, yet couldn't quite recite from memory.
In this paragraph, Drummond is wrapping up a thought on love being the defining characteristic of God, the only thing we know to be carried into eternity..
"You will give yourselves to many things, give yourself first to Love. Hold things in their proportion. Hold things in their proportion."
How important are these words? Sure, they are simple, but they are also some of the most grounding words I've ever read. When we give ourselves first to God, to his command to love, to his character of love, we give ourselves to everything else accordingly. It sets the stage for what we give our lives to, it reminds us where everything else stands and what actually matters at the end of this rodeo.
As I walk into another season of change, I reflect on how I've given myself to various things over the last couple of years, and will continue to give myself to many more things, but not without first giving myself to the mission of Love. When we commit ourselves first to loving well, it becomes the filter that defines our lives.
So whatever you're carrying or waiting on or stepping toward or putting 40 hours into every week, hold it in proportion. Hold things in their proportion. Because after all, Love's gonna be the story that lasts.