As Americans, we are told that we have the right to pursue happiness. The Declaration of Independence states that man has three unalienable rights: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is a fact that Americans are constantly in the pursuit of happiness. As a nation, we think that money, good looks, things, a secure future, etc. will bring us happiness – so we pursue it vigorously. And at times we pay any price necessary.
But, I think that there is a better, more noble and more satisfying goal, and I propose that most people would agree with me: to pursue love. In 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul tells us that one of the major pursuits of life ought to be love. Literally, “Follow the way of love . . .”
In an old Peanuts comic strip, Lucy says to Charlie Brown,“You know what I don’t understand Charlie Brown, I don’t understand love.”
Charlie responds,“Who does?”
Lucy:“Explain love to me, Charlie Brown.”
Charlie:“I can’t explain love. I can only recommend a book or a poem or a painting. I can’t explain love.”
Lucy: “Well try, Charlie Brown.”
Charlie:“Well, let’s say I see this beautiful, cute little girl walking by. . .”
Lucy interrupts,“Why does she have to be cute, huh? Explain that! Why can’t someone fall in love with a person with freckles and a big nose? Explain that, Charlie Brown!”
“Well maybe your right,” answers Charlie.“Let’s say I see this girl walk by with this great big nose. . .”
Lucy interrupts again,“I didn’t say great big nose, Charlie.”
In the last frame, his hands jammed into his pockets, Charlie dejectedly walks away from Lucy and says to himself,“You not only can’t explain love, you can’t even talk about it!”
It is amazing what we pursue in the name of love. Every metric that is used to evaluate a significant life comes down to one thing…love.
On your death bed, one of these three questions will be on your lips: How well did we do it? Did we give it? Did we receive it?
Most people intuitively know this. So why don’t we love intentionally? Because life happens and we think pursuing other, lesser things matter more. They don’t. Period.
As you spend time with your kids and as they move from baby to toddler, from non-speaker to first words, there is a phrase you long for, you dream about it, you think about it. It’s not the moment they take their first step…which is pretty cool. It’s not their first potty experience…which isn’t that cool. It’s hearing those words for the first time, “Daddy, Mommy, I love you.” As a parent, I can’t even express the impact of those words!
So, what can I say…Pursue love. Period.