Love One Another

” . . . love one another.”

“And so I ask you, dear Lady: let us all love one another. This is no new command I am writing you; it is the command which we have had from the beginning.” (II John 1:5)

I love trains.  That’s not a new revelation for many of you who have followed Wednesday Wonderings for a while.  These are some photos I took of a train Patti and I rode.  The photos beckoned me when I continued to contemplate something God put on my heart a couple of weeks ago.  The phrase has churned in my brain, so I know it’s an important word from God for me.  The phrase is this: “We need to love God and one another more than we love our issues.”

Notice the front of the engine in the photo above.  Almost at the very bottom on the far left you’ll see a very small, but critical piece on the engine – the coupler.  Obviously, every car on the train needs couplers to connect it to the car behind and in front of it.  Have you ever stopped to realize just how strong these couplers have to be?  If it’s a one hundred car train including the engine, all the ninety-nine cars behind the engine depend on the strength of that one coupler on the back of the engine.  But wait . . . there’s more.


Now take a look at an up-close photo of a coupler and notice the steel pin on the left side.  It’s a rod with some yellow paint on top that holds the two pieces of the coupler together.  Hopefully now you realize that the success of the entire train to get its cargo from one place to another depends on that one pin on the coupler behind the engine holding and remaining intact.  Obviously, the pins on all the other couplers are important, but that one pin behind the engine carries the weight and force of the entire train.

I listen and observe today and notice how quick we are to defend our favorite issues, to fight for our important issues, but often at the expense of the relationships we will need to help us continue in life.  It seems to me that we’ve reached a point that we’re so gasoline-soaked and ready to react that it doesn’t take a flame to ignite the fires of destructive conflict.  A simple approaching spark will do just nicely.  Show us even the hint of disagreement and we’re ready to escalate to all-out war.

Jesus told us in the Gospel of John to love one another as he loves us.  I did a search and found that there are nineteen times in the rest of the New Testament that those who followed Jesus reminded us of his command.  Like the author of II John said to the “Lady,” “This is no new command I am writing you; it is the command which we have had from the beginning.”  Our very existence depends on whether we can love one another.  Like the pin in the coupler, love might seem like such a minor detail, but the reality is that the success of our lives depends upon it.  Love is strong and can stand the strain of our difficulties if we nurture love between us.  We need to love God and one another more than we love our issues.  That’s the word I’ve been given and pass along to you.  I pray that God will help me love others more than I love my issues.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Gary

Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24

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~ by revgenelson on May 4, 2016.

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