By Gail Armatys
Would you like to maximize your moments? Your potential? Your life? Whether your days are filled with humdrum routine, exciting challenges, lists full of tasks, difficult people or unexpected change you need to know that God wants you to live life to the max. How? Two words… love intentionally.
Our Pride & Prejudice
One of my all time favorite movies is Pride & Prejudice. There are two scenes in this movie where Mr. Darcy, a dashing, wealthy Englishman, reveals his love to Elizabeth, the well read yet lower class daughter of a local English gentleman with five eligible daughters.
One of these scenes takes place in a beautiful gazebo that can only be reached by a certain path. It is pouring rain and both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are drenched. Elizabeth races to the gazebo out of anger as she believes Mr. Darcy to be smug and pompous and that he has ridiculed and schemed to hurt her family. Mr. Darcy finds her and attempts to explain his actions, ask her to be his wife, and scorns her pride. (Nearly all in the same breath). Her anger toward him is as palpable as his love for her. She rejects his explanation, truth, and invitation.
Click the image above to watch this scene.
Oh, if Elizabeth had only known the truth. What would her response have been?
Which humbly leads me to ask…knowing the truth do you still sometimes reject the path God has prepared for you…the path that leads to meaning and joy? Does your pride ever keep you in your comfort zone? Do you, and those around you, miss out on God’s gracious blessings because of your prejudice toward your personal desires – your preferred ways? Do you respond bitterly because you don’t understand? For most of us, the answer is sometimes, ‘yes’. But there is hope, we can change our answer to a more often, ‘no’. Mr. Darcy shows us how.
Lay It On The Line
Elizabeth has discovered she has been completely wrong about Mr. Darcy. She steps out into the dewy, bird song sunrise after a sleepless night only to find him walking with great intention through a field toward her. She is surprised yet welcomes his presence. Then, the words spill from his lips, “I love, I love, I love you…I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.” (It’s appropriate to swoon now, ladies.)
Click the image above to watch this scene.
Mr. Darcy decided to lay it all on the line, and love…very intentionally. Can you say the same?
The Jesus – Mr. Darcy Connection
Jesus loves, loves, loves you. He put all he had, everything he was, did, and said into accomplishing the plan God sent him to complete. The bible is full of Jesus’ moment-by-moment, daily, maxed-out physical and verbal responses to questions, comments, accusations, temptations, betrayals, attitudes, beatings, and torture. In everything, intentional love was his way – for those who cared for him and those who killed him.
Jesus’ way is still intentional love. He desires never to be parted from you. Not only in the forever sense, but also in the moment-by-moment, daily decision and circumstance sense. And just as Mr. Darcy tells Elizabeth, Jesus’ love speaks to your heart, ‘You must know…surely you must know it was all for you.”
Scripture is full of love verses. Here are a few.
Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Matt. 22: 39
This is my command: Love each other.
Love never fails.
1 Cor. 13:8
Follow the way of love…
1 Cor. 14:1
The only thing that counts is faith
expressing itself through love.
Live a life of love.
Loving intentionally is clearly God’s desire and critical to living a meaningful life. But obedience to his command isn’t always easy. Like Elizabeth, you must first decide to lay down your pride and prejudice and each day choose Jesus’ way – living life to the max through intentional love.
Have you ever tried to serve without love? How’d that work out for ya? Your life is made up of many steps. Focusing daily on intentionally loving those around you as you walk your path is among the first you must take.
- Intentionally look for opportunities to love others throughout each day this week. Write down the things you do that make a loving difference to other’s lives. You will become more aware of loving opportunities and affirm your loving attitude.
Father, thank you for the example of your love through Christ’s life and sacrifice. Help me to be intentional, like he was (and Mr. Darcy, too) about choosing love. For I know that in the moments I walk in your way, I live life to the max.
In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Listen To Your HeartSong Here!