By Dan Bennett
“In these bodies we will live. In these bodies we will die. And where you invest your love, you invest your life.” – Mumford & Sons
Have you ever heard Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons?
The other day on my way to work, I was listening to music on my iPhone and this song came up on shuffle like it has a thousand other times. As soon as Marcus sang the lyrics above, I nearly fell out of my seat.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling. For some reason, I’ve let the stress of this world cloud my thinking, and it’s really had me down. I don’t know how it happened. It kind of snuck up on me and it has left me feeling drained, anxious, tired, envious and frustrated. These feelings aren’t new for me. I struggle with them on a daily basis, but for some reason they’ve been giving me trouble lately and I think it’s because of where I was investing my love.
I got so busy and distracted that I stopped investing my time and energy in the things I love. Things like my family, my faith, art, writing and reading. I’ve literally been looking for love in all the wrong places.
That’s why, when I heard the lyrics of Awake My Soul, it was like getting blown up by Sheldon Brown. It reminded me that if you want to be full of life, you need to invest in the things you love. And if you want to be full of love, you need to invest in the things that give you life.
Does this idea sound familiar to you? It might. It’s very similar to what Jesus said in the Book of Matthew, “Wherever your treasure is, there lies your heart.” And it sounds a lot like all those self-help experts who tout their own form of “Do what you love!”
Let’s stop for a second. I know what you’re thinking. Awake My Soul is a great song, and this is a novel idea and all, but it’s unrealistic. There’s no way anyone can be constantly “plugged-in” and do what they love all the time. You’re right. You can’t.
Life is crazy. It’s unexpected. And at times, it can be completely messed up. But what if there was a way to tap into the artery of love and be full of life, regardless of what was happening to you? If that was possible, would you be interested?
Based on my journey, I think it’s completely possible.
Like the song suggests, life and love are intimately tied together. You can’t have one without the other. And if they hold the key to a heart fully alive, maybe we need to change how we approach all the crazy circumstances life throws our way. Maybe we need to actually change the way we view the world.
So what does this new worldview look like?
I don’t have it all figured out. But I’ve learned a thing or two over the last thirty-some years, and it wasn’t until I listened to this song for the thousandth time that it finally struck a chord.
The only way we can stay plugged in and stay open to love and life is if we stop viewing life as a series of unfortunate events.
It’s true! Life is not a series of unfortunate events. Despite what you might think and the devil might want you to believe, this world, this life, is a gift. It’s a series of fortunate events designed to turn you into something awesome. And the only way to go through life and be fully alive is if we begin to realize this truth and start living it out in our lives.
So how do we do it? First we need to understand that everything is a gift. Even the bad things. Especially the bad things.
It’s important because when we believe that everything in life is a gift, it makes it easier to view the world as C.S. Lewis did, and live as if life is a training ground. Then, as we approach life with this new way of thinking, each obstacle and hurdle will become gifts that shape us into who God has called us to be.
Sounds crazy doesn’t it? I’ll admit, it does, but it’s true.
All of life is a gift. The good things, the bad things, the beautiful things and even the ugly things you don’t want anyone to know about; they are all gifts.
It’s hard to stomach at first, but take a moment and think about all the lessons you’ve learned throughout your life. There’s a good chance they came as a direct result of rough spots you’ve experienced along the way.
I know it feels odd when you first start peeling back the layers of your life and trying to see everything as a gift, and I also know it’s difficult to believe that some of the really terrible things in our lives are gifts, but just as diamonds can only be made through heat and pressure, your character and capacity to love can only grow through struggle and pain. It’s just how it works.
Like it or not, the best gifts we receive in life are wrapped in packages that don’t look very pretty or feel very good, and it’s our job to unwrap them and find the treasure inside.
So here’s the key to staying invested in love:
Look for the gift in every moment and view life as a training ground. Especially when it’s difficult and it hurts. Because if you do, it will help you keep you close to the Giver. And when we’re close to the Giver, we’ll always be investing in love. And then, when things get dark, we’ll still shine.
Here’s to an awakened soul.
And here’s to being awesome.
How are you investing your love? Is it giving you life?