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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Oh, hey there!

Is awareness a spiritual gift? I think so!

I wished I had a dollar for every nail, shard of glass, hunk of metal, deck screw and other junk I have recovered from streets and main thoroughfares. I could be retired right now. Somehow, I would like to think I have reduced someone's stress by helping them avoid the unwelcome flat tire. It's probably one of the more gratifying reasons I walk and observe things. Not sure if this gift I possess is spiritual, but it does help others.

I have shared in the past my penchant for being a people watcher. Hey, people are fascinating to observe. Our mannerisms, our relating styles, everything we do carries with it some meaning. Being aware of others is a spiritual gift in that we are supposed to be creating, building, and maintaining relationships with others. It's in our spiritual DNA so to speak.

You see friends, when we are self absorbed, we tend to miss much of what goes on around us. Our schedules, our tasks, our needs, everything about 'us' supersedes everything else. Meanwhile a world of people, opportunities and purpose walk right by and we miss them. The text from Matthew 22 suggests a new perspective. Perhaps when we begin to love God with all our passion, prayer, and intelligence and our neighbors as well as we love ourselves then a new level of awareness might be discovered.

Living in a bubble was never the way God intended us to live, move, and thrive in our lives. That was the point of Adam...and...Eve in the Garden. God created us social beings that need interactions with others. When we neglect those connections then our world shrinks. Less opportunity and diminishing purpose are some possible side effects of solo living.

Fact is, if we are loving God with all our passion, prayer, and intelligence, then it is almost impossible to 'not' love our neighbors as well as we love ourselves. The two are mutual in my opinion. One begets the other. How are you doing in these areas of God and neighbors? Are you able to say you love God with all your passion, prayer, and intelligence? If so, great! Just know that when you say this, you are opening yourself to divine scrutiny. It is impossible to love God without loving neighbors.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:7-21, NIV)

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