Loving others: opportunity or just a burden?

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Some years ago our mom spent several years in an assisted living facility as we were not able to care for her as she needed. Because I lived closest to her, it only made sense for me to visit her at least a couple times a week as well as when an emergency came up. I looked forward to the many opportunities to interact with her and with those who took care of her. I heard many a life story and came to appreciate mom and all those I knew there in a deeper sense.I came to appreciate aging in a personal way. To be honest though, there were many a day Iíd rather have been somewhere else. What began as an opportunity to know and interact with others soon became a burden, a hindrance to doing what I wanted to do. I have my own understanding of what is worth my time.

I canít help but think Iím not alone in this struggle to love others. The struggle between serving myself and serving others. What of the widow or widower acrosss the street? What of the single parent at church? What of the disabled at the gym? What of anyone we come across who has an unknown need?

What tips the scale from people being an affliction, a worry or a load to being an opening or occasion to love as God loves? What if we trust our Heavenly Father with who and what comes our way this year? What if we trust Him with what He wants to show us and teach us? What tips that scale? Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understandings, but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths. Where will your path lead this year and how will you respond?

Bruce Macek is pastor of Newman Community Bible Church, 9230 Sagle Road.

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