I have a lot of loves in my life. My God, my husband, my family and friends, and yes, my dog too. Then there are all those things I love to do. I love to ride, motorcycles and horses, I love snorkeling, talking with friends, (I recommend you do NOT discuss this one with my husband), good music, live theatre, musicals (don't bring that up with Paul either) and skiing. Then there are those things that I think I love. I love the idea of being fit, but seldom exercise. I love the idea of having lots of books but seldom read, I love the idea if writing but put it off for over a year. It reminds of the tree in this picture. It looks like it started growing up and then got side tracked. It meant to be a straight, tall tree but time passed and it got harder and harder to straighten out so it just made the best of it.
There is one other love that I sometimes let slide. I love the idea of knowing God, really knowing Him, and hearing Him speak to me, but there are days I put Him off and ignore Him. Oh, I can be hard on others if they are not faithful but still want God's blessing. The Word is very clear, 'Blessed is the one who does not slow down... stand around... or sit down' but "instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night" (Psa 1:2 MSG). That person, the one who really loves God and His Word, will be like a tree solidly planted by the river... bearing fruit in each season of life, reaching their God-designed-purpose and destiny.
The distance between loving an idea and living the ideal makes a huge difference in the outcome. Loving the right things and then pursuing them with all of life provides the destination and the motivation. That may sound like hard work but a wise teenager in our church recently surprised me with his wisdom when he said, "If you choose a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life." And the God of all creation says, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deut 6:5 NIV).