“Sometimes me think what is love, and then me think love is what last cookie is for. Me give up the last cookie for you.”
If you’re a friend of mine of Facebook, you’re familiar with my daily quotes. It started a while back when I noticed how banal most of my friend’s status posts were. About 2 seconds after that, it dawned on me that their’s weren’t the only ones lacking substance. I mean, really, who cares if I’m working or what scintillating activity I may be engaging in at that moment. It was really rather arrogant. I had to do something different. At first, I tried to think of something worthwhile to say, but nothing I could think of seemed worth the effort to write (I’ve gotten over that trifling notion, as you can see). So, I started pulling quotes from others and posting them in my status. Shortly after that, the quotes became spiritual and religious in nature. Most of the time. I still break it up with the occasional comic line or two. You’d think I wouldn’t get surprised by the sources of the quotes after this long, but it still happens now and then. Like the quote above. I mean Sesame Street, of all places.
At the age kids these days are into Sesame Street, we couldn’t get it. This was back in the Dark Ages when almost no one had cable. In fact, you were lucky if you had an outdoor antenna and didn’t rely on a set of rabbit ears and tin foil to get 3 (that’s right, 3) TV stations. When we got a better antenna, reception improved but we still lived to far from the PBS transmitter to pick it up very well. In fact, I was almost a teenager before I even heard about the Street. But, even at that advanced age, something about a few the characters resonated with me. One of my favorites has always been Cookie Monster. Maybe it was his lack of impulse control where baked goods are concerned (we have that in common), his intensity or maybe because the dude is just plain funny. Blue fur, googly eyes and a voice that makes me smile every time I hear it. But, I never thought Cookie Monster could reach me now that I’m pushing 50.
I’m with him, sometimes I think what is love. Depends on what you’re talking about, I suppose. The dictionaries have plenty of definitions and we think we know what love is, but do we really? The word has taken a bit of hit in the English language. The Greeks had 4 different words for it and we make do with one, which leads to a little confusion. I mean, you say love these days and folks think you mean that deep, abiding affection we reserve for those special people in our lives, sex or just liking something a whole lot. Think about it for minute, how often do we profess love for some inanimate object? Or, worse yet, throw back our head and bark “I LOVE IT!” when someone we don’t care for gets their comeuppance. One word for all that??? Like I said, love hasn’t fared to well in our times. Kinda sucks, huh?
Of those four Greek words, the one I’m really concerned with at the moment is Agape. Agape is divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love. Unconditional love…, I’d like to think that’s the way I love my children. That I love them no matter what. And, I do the best I can with that. Truly, I can’t think of a circumstance that would cause me to withdraw my love from them. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means I can’t conceive it. Even worse, I don’t show it. When either of them don’t do what I want, I’m not the loving, understanding father that I want to be. Sometimes, I’m mean, vindictive, even a little nasty. Or, I pretend to be that loving father I want to be, but with an ulterior motive: I try to clandestinely manipulate them into doing what I want. And, occasionally, I get it right. But, only occasionally and nowhere near often enough.
Fortunately, our Father (notice the capital F) doesn’t have that problem. Unconditional love is His nature and good thing for me. Regardless what you hear some “Christian” folks say, there is nothing, nothing, that I can do to cause God to turn his back on me. No sin is too vile, no act base enough to make God reject me. While I constantly turn my back on Him and stray away, He’s always there, waiting for me, loving me. Without condition. Pretty cool, huh?
Bet you’re wondering how I’m going to tie in that Cookie Monster quote from the beginning, aren’t you? Since you’ve stuck around, I’ll tell you. For me, it’s a metaphor. God is telling us how much He loves us and how He’s shown that love. The Last Cookie…, take a guess who that is.