Anyone who knows my Nate knows he’s always thinking about something. His wonderful brain never stops planning, pondering, or picturing his next “thing.” For weeks he’s been following me around the kitchen; scribbling ingredients on a piece of notebook paper and making them read like recipes.
Monday morning, his alarm went off at 6:30am. He jumped out of bed, dressed for the day, went downstairs, and immediately got to work. He started the coffee, set the table, gathered his ingredients, and wrote out a name tag and menus that read “Nathan’s Diner” across the top. Within the hour the aroma of French toast, ham & cheddar scrambled eggs, bacon, and coffee began luring my people down the stairs.
I sat on the stool, “supervising,” as this whole spectacle unfolded. I grasped my favorite mug and slowly sipped the coffee he had for poured me. I watched him move around the kitchen; making his way from one prep station to the next. I listened as he hummed praise music–the tune to a song by King & Country. One of the familiar lyrics crept into my thoughts and stuck there: “…how You lived, how You died…Love is sacrifice…”
At that moment I remembered something I heard a pastor say many years ago. They were words I scribbled on the front page of my Bible because I just knew I’d want to remember them always: “Love is not a feeling or an emotion. Love is a choice you make to do your relationships the way Christ would want you to do your relationships.”
Sitting there watching my son gave the words from that sermon new life in my heart: Love is a choice to serve others before I serve myself. Love is a choice to give to others when I would rather they gave to me. Love is a choice to do that one thing, when I’d rather be doing anything else. It’s a deliberate “slowing-down” enough to see the needs around me and stopping long enough to meet them the way that Jesus would want me to.
Love is choosing to take my eyes off of myself and fix my gaze on others. It calls me to the altar of sacrifice; begs me to lay down my comfort, my time, my talents, my abilities, and my feelings. It’s a sacrifice I offer because of a Perfect Someone who sacrificed for me so long ago…
I watched him–that incredible young man of mine. His tired eyes that could’ve used 30 more minutes of sleep danced with anticipation. He was practically beaming as he added the finishing touches and taped his name tag to his shirt. He asked everyone to sit and got the paper menus ready so we could review and place our orders. He served us all joyfully–one by one–because at the ripe age of 10 he actually gets it. He gets the very thing that trips up people three and four times his age:
The choosing to love is what brings the feeling of love.
Yes, he fully understands the choice that we have labeled ‘love.’