Saturday, May 12, 2007

Love and Sacrifice on Mother's Day

So today was Mother's Day - at least for me and my family. Tomorrow is just let mom do whatever she wants day, but today was a big dinner for the whole family and some guests.

Let me back up to a discussion I had a couple of weeks ago with some people from church.

What is love?

Of course the answers can differ greatly from person to person while other answers are universal, but there was one answer that really spoke to me and actually challenged me.

Love = Sacrifice

Or maybe it would be more accurate to say love requires a level of sacrifice, it remains unclear, but during that discussion I became conscious of how thoroughly selfish I am.

I am the most important person I know.

Really. Who is more directly affected by my decisions than myself? Of course, my actions don't end with me and I think I know this. However, I only know how to act in my own self-interest. Even my own "acts of love/kindness" are really just self-serving actions.

Example.

I like to cook up dinner for my family on most Fridays. It's just a small thing I can do to make up for not being home most evenings for dinner. I know that my mom probably appreciates it.

Except I have a habit of rushing out the door afterward, leaving a stack of dirty dishes and a messy kitchen while I drive off to a church meeting, which is the real reason I even cooked anything in the first place. Really nice of me, isn't it?

My point is this: Everything I do is rooted in selfishness. And love is a human's super-human ability to act purely in the interest of others.

So today's Mother's Day dinner was my opportunity to do something for my mom and my whole family where I started and finished a huge turkey dinner (roasted potatoes, asparagus, salad, deviled eggs) while trying not to burden any other family members. I turned down opportunities to go to the movies, go swimming, and play volleyball and made it a point to serve my family with a real treat for everyone.

Happy Mother's Day.

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