I love history. I really love studying the Civil War. And, even though it’s not quite as intruiging to me as the Civil War, I love studying WWII.
One of the most fascinating parts of WWII to study is the Allied invasion of Europe. Most people are familiar with the heroic landings now known as “D-Day”, but most people don’t realize that it took weeks to “break out” of that part of France and really start making progress toward Germany. The Allied troops were barely able to move hundreds of yards a day after the D-Day landings because of the natural terrain and hedgerows on the south western coastal region of France. Once the Allied troops under General Patton broke through the German ranks, however, the daily progress became measured in dozens of miles rather than yards. The gas often couldn’t keep up with the progress of the tanks.
So why do I bring all that up? Well, it’s kind of the picture I have in my mind of the funk we sometimes get into in life. We get bottled up… pinned down… and pressed against. It seems like we can’t quite make any progress and we usually get pretty depressed and beat down. It’s in these times that I’ve learned the same lesson again and again. The lesson is this: Love is the General Patton of our life campaign. Love is the thing that busts us out of ruts. Love is what lifts us up and gets us moving forward again.
Now I know what you’re saying… “That’s pretty profound Ken… how hard is it to throw a love bumper sticker over such a deep and nuanced issue and proclaim the problem solved?”
So here is where I need to make my distinction. It’s not the subject of love or love emotions that I’m talking about. Rather, its the practice of love — the reckless abandon of helping others when you yourself need help. It is in the paradoxical decision to take ones eyes off of our own situation and commit much needed energy, time, money or resources to others that we see the magic of “busting out” of a funk by “loving your way out.”
Somehow, God designed it so that the act of love would break negative inertia. And, somehow, God designed it so that the act of love would allow us to move forward in life again.
So, it’s WWII, General Patton and the challenge to do the opposite of what you feel like when you’re depressed — jump out in love rather than hunkering down and demanding it.
Start now… who can you call, e-mail, visit or bring a gift to? Why not love your way out beginning tonight?