Sunday, February 12, 2017

Love Is In the Air

Microsoft Clip Art

The stores are filled with balloons, heart shaped cookies and doughnuts, and ads for roses fill the internet and television.  Valentine’s Day is celebrated by those who have sweethearts and endured by those who are alone with no significant other.

Spring is steadily moving in on Georgia after weeks of above average temperatures and just enough rain to coax daffodils to poke their heads up.  Tulip trees are bursting with blooms from pink to dark red.  We’ve had so little cold weather this winter, I’m afraid the flowers will appear, only to be burned when the next cold blast rolls through.

Love and spring are definitely in the air.  Mark Twain described the longing that comes this time of year as follows:

“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

All is not hearts and flowers when you realize that the tax man and his deadlines are fast approaching.  Since we own a company, we pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis, but our annual day of reckoning with the IRS is on March 15. Maybe William Shakespeare was on to something when he used this quote in Julius Caesar. “Beware the Ides of March.”

I read a thought-provoking Bible verse this past week that sums up my responsibilities as a Christian to pay all I owe. Imagine—the IRS and Valentine’s Day in the same verse!!

“Pay all that you owe, whether it is taxes and fees or respect and honor. Let love be you only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands.” Romans 13:7-8 (CEV)

I think it is easier to pay government required taxes and fees than to fulfill the rest of the verse to respect, honor, and love. The former is a matter of duty, but the later requires an attitude of the heart. It can be challenging to respect, honor, and love when others don’t act in a deserving way. As with all the commands in the Bible, I must depend on God’s grace and strength to love those who love me back as well as the unlovely and unlovable. This is not the sweet, romantic love celebrated on Valentine’s Day, but the hard work of sharing our lives with those around us. 

Microsoft Clip Art