If you know me, you have probably heard me say it before: "Florida is the trifecta of things I hate." When you put sand, sun and water in the same place; I am not interested at all.
I don't think people really like sand. A lot of people view a sandy beach as relaxation and vacation. If this is you, maybe you should throw a couple cups of sand in your bed tonight to help you relax a little? The truth is that people like what sand represents - not what it is. Maybe it represents a good family vacation memory or your honeymoon to Hawaii? For me all the good memories I have that involve sand also involve a volleyball - but I would never say that sand all over my body making me itch was a wonderful memory. The sand was there - but it wasn't the thing I enjoyed.
The sun is the worst. Kelly and I argue about the sun's existence. She claims life could not exist on our planet without it and I argue that God could find a way. She generally replies buy saying: "do you really want to bring God into this? He created the sun and said it was good." She has a point. The sun burns me, makes me sweat and blinds me when I drive - I hate it. I think most people like the results of the sun, not actually the sun. The sun gives us light, warmth and allows cucumber plants to make cucumbers. Those are all great things - but the negatives of the sun are still negatives. I like some of what the sun gives me, but I don't actually like the sun.
Water. I can't tread water. This is the first time I have admitted this so publicly, but it is true. Everyone and their mother has tried to teach me and I have always worked hard at it but it just isn't going to happen. I can swim from one side of a pool to the other, but if I stop halfway and can't touch the bottom I am done for. Water isn't fun to me, it makes it hard for me to breathe. If I have my chest below water I start to get very claustrophobic and short on breath. I just hate it. Now, I like that water helps me get clean, nourishes my body and cools me down on hot days. I like what water gives me, but I don't like water. I wish I could have all those things without having to deal with water.
Isn't that us sometimes - we like the benefits of things, but we don't actually like the things. Are we like that in our relationships? Do you love your wife, or do you just love the benefits of your wife? Do you love your dad, or do you just love the benefits of your dad? Do you just love what people do for you, or do you love people?
I think the easiest example I have of simply loving a person is my daughter. Bristol is 6 months old and is super needy and never helps out around the house. I can't name one thing she has ever done for me - but I love her! This is the truest form of love; loving when there is no benefit from it. The bible in John 15:13 talks about there not being a greater love than laying down your life for a friend and I believe that the reason this love is so strong is because you have nothing to gain, only your life to lose.
Do you really love people?
Do you really love your family?