God's love and the iPod

I have long had this burning desire to be utterly transformed by God. I don't want to be a better person. I tried that. At a certain point, I realized that God was not going to be impressed by my attempts to be well behaved. What will impress him? Based on what Jesus had to say, I can think of only one thing: love.

Now left to my own devices, I am not the most loving person. I am self-centered and rather insensitive to other people. I like to think conceptually. I can tune out people and relationships, and then I wake up wondering why I feel disconnected. Thankfully, this kind of ugliness defines me less than it used to. Slowly I am being transformed into the likeness of Christ. But a taste of transformation only makes me hunger for it all the more.

I am realizing more and more that key to being transformed into a person who feels, thinks, and acts like Jesus is to place myself over and over again on the receiving end of God's love. There is nothing I can do to earn divine love, and I am simultaneously elated and frustrated by that fact. But I know, more and more, that receiving God's love is absolutely critical to giving out his love.

For Father's Day, I received an iPod. The day I opened the iPod, it was nothing but potential. There was no music on it to enjoy... yet. For the past several days, I have been slowly uploading music -- alternative, blues, rock, ambient, Christian worship, aloha, even Bavarian yodeling. What a difference! My iPod is being transformed from mere potential to full actuality as a source of music -- and let's face it, music does something magical in our lives.

We are a little like iPods. We are waiting to play God's music. We are wired for it. But first we have to receive music from him. Unlike an iPod, we choose whether to receive or not. But here's what I am trying to get across: unless we receive God's love, not much love will be coming out from us. Receiving God's love transforms us from mere potential to world-changing actuality.

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