There’s an undeniable restlessness when we are truly in love. With love, we cannot afford to remain idle and passive. Love will always set us on fire, making us fervent, passionate, driven, zealous. No difficulty or problem can stop it. Boredom has no place in love. Love will always find a way around obstacles.
Love will always be inventive and creative. It never ceases its drive for serving God and others. It is not afraid of sacrifices. It does not count cost. It gives itself without measure. In fact, it considers the cost and sacrifices involved as signs of its intensity. In short, it is freely given and is its own reward. It does not expect to be reciprocated, though it would certainly welcome being requited.
To be sure, this restlessness of true love is compatible with peace and joy. Its tension is constructive and sweet, not destructive nor bitter. Its zeal does not leave behind the details of understanding, compassion and affection. It knows how to go slow or to ‘waste’ time when the occasion requires them. But its impelling forcefulness abides.
It would know how to adapt itself to every person and situation without compromising itself. Its focus is not lost. It stays the course. It is keenly discerning of what is essential without unduly neglecting the non-essentials as long as they make things more integral, more complete and perfect. The restlessness of true love is the genuine expression of the empowerment proper to us.
We need to find out if we have this kind of restlessness. If what we have instead makes us more agitated than peaceful and joyful, then it can be a restlessness that is motivated by selfishness. It could be a result of a worry or anxiety that comes from a lack of faith and hope. Or worse, it could be a symptom of malice, or concupiscence, for example.
To have this restlessness of true love, we need to train ourselves always to be thoughtful of others, that is, of God first and then of everybody else following a certain hierarchy. This is actually what is proper to us. Remember that when Christ was asked which was the greatest commandment of God, he replied that it was to love God with everything and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
The moment we think simply of ourselves or when we just allow our thoughts to go anywhere without direction, we would actually be undermining our own nature. That’s because we would be going against the character of love for which we have been created. We would simply be indulging on ourselves, a sign of selfishness that will always spoil us.
It is not that we do not think or take care of ourselves. We should. It, in fact, is against common sense, let alone, God’s commandment, if we neglect our own selves. But the concern we have for ourselves should always be related to our duties toward God and others. Otherwise, that concern would be destructive to us, sooner or later.
Yes, we have to think of our own health, our own security, and even of our comfort, convenience and our own name and reputation. But all these should be pursued in relation to our duty toward God and others.
We need to train ourselves in the art of thinking always of God and of the others. And we have to help others to do so. Let’s strive that this becomes an abiding trait in us. Failing in that would actually mean failing in our life. It is as simple as that.
In this regard, we cannot deny that we have a tremendous challenge to face, given the temper of the times that is now given to so much self-indulgence. Just the same, God will always be around, guiding and helping us in this delicate task./WDJ