One guy, upon learning that I graduated with a degree in English, tried to impress me with his love for Shakespeare. He waxed poetic about sonnets and tragedy, and by waxing poetic, of course, I mean, he recited knowledge gleaned from Wikipedia, with vigor. When I asked what he knew of As You Like It, my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays, he fell silent. He claimed to know all about love, and Shakespeare, but was so green, couldn’t quote Silvius.
No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,
Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover
As ever sigh’d upon a midnight pillow:
But if thy love were ever like to mine–
As sure I think did never man love so–
How many actions most ridiculous
Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy? – Act II, Scene 4
Love isn’t love until it compels us to the extraordinary. Until that point, it’s all a warm “like” you might give someone on Facebook when they announce they’ve found a new job.
Love shakes us to the core, radically transforms life as we thought we knew it. Love changes situations and it changes the people in those situations. People are very comfortable with “like” but love makes us uncomfortable. “Like” stirs us and may move us, but love alters us completely.
Do you think God calls us to “like” or to love?
Ask Abraham who lay his beloved son on the altar and prepared to offer him as a sacrifice. Because God called. Ask Job who lost it all and sat, ridiculed by his friends and neighbors. Because God called. Ask Elijah who walked without a map or itinerary or plan. Because God called. Ask Samuel who served. Ask Esther who interceded. Ask Moses who led. Ask Joshua who marched. Ask the disciples who suffered torture and death. Because God called them to love and not “like.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us – Romans 12:1
I want to be shaken. I want my foundation rearranged.
I’ll ask you as Silvius does in As You Like It…How many actions most ridiculous hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?
I’m afraid Silvius would say, based on my actions, that I’m merely a lukewarm lover, that I’ve been stirred, but not shaken, that I have not truly loved because I have not stepped out in love to the ridiculous.
What crazy act of love have you performed? What has God called you to do for which the world would call you crazy?