Coming to you live – but way too early and way too dark – from the concourse at CAE, I’m off again to Tampa, FL on a business trip. It’s a short trip, out today and back late Friday, so I’m not complaining. Much. I’m here early to catch my flight and be in the office there by 1:30pm or so – not a bad way to go, and we’ll hopefully get things accomplished and feel good about the effort.
I wanted to piggyback a little on my last "Bible 2008" post below before shutting down and jumping into the wild blue yonder. The words in Jesus’ "great command" to "love your neighbor as yourself" works in showing that loving others is tantamount to loving God, and vice versa. Then, I wonder if we spend too much time on the "as you love yourself" part of the construct, saying we need to love ourselves before loving others so much that the actual directive is to "love others". Maybe a more meaningful way to look at it is that we are to "love others" AS we "love yourself" – at the same time as, synonymous with, simultaneously alongside. As you find yourself doing for yourself, are you also at the self-same time loving those around you? Or, are you – am I? – too self-absorbed to recognize that people around me are around me?
Listen to your iPod AS you walk the neighborhood. Drive defensively AS you head to work. Drink that great cup of coffee AS you read the morning paper. Love others AS you love yourself.
… because more often than not, I am loving myself. I’m doing what I want, what I need to do for me, almost 24/7. Even in being there for family and for friends, I know that I’m in survival and thrival mode most of the time, like everyone else. I don’t think I’m called, at least in this passage, so much to abandoning selfishness outright – there are other places in the scriptures to go for that, but not this one. Instead, even in my selfishness, maybe Jesus us saying to let selflessness rise up alongside. Be selfless AS you live selfishly. Living selfishly to the extent that I need to work and provide and do for my own good has its benefits. The problem, as I see it in my life, is when I let my selfish tendencies totally overcome and push down any selfless attitude that might want to rise to the occasion.
Wow, that’s too deep for an airport concourse, too deep for pre-6:30am. I apologize – selfishly. Have a nice day.