We are told Christians should be known by their love. God is love and, as we walk with Him, His love is poured out in us until it overflows, touching everything around us. It infuses our perspective and shows up in our work, our relationships, and our hobbies.
Society has a picture of love that doesn't always match what Jesus modelled. I don't believe love is the lustful passion shown in some of the popular media. Nor do I believe it is a blanket acceptance of everything without gentle correction. There is much more to honest love than this, and it is honest love that I want to define my actions.
When I attempt to define love, I do better at finding examples than at finding a concise definition. I recognize it in those around me. I recognize its absence. I don't need to create my own definition because 1 Corinthians 13 provides one. Love as described in this passage is impossible to achieve on our own strength. Love like this can change the world.
In contrast to many of the "dream big" messages, one of my current favourite songs is "Dream Small" by Josh Wilson. The lyrics tell the story of many small acts of love that together make a difference. This resonates with me. We are called to live in the everyday moments, in the small choices that we make. I have seen many examples in my own life of these consistent "small" acts. By the time years and decades have passed, it is hard to imagine the relationships looking any different than they do now. Just as it is hard to imagine the towering oak as an acorn easily held in a hand, it is hard to imagine the discussions, debates and adjustments that a marriage of 50 years may have had in the early years.
When I get discouraged because progress is slow, I try to remember. When I notice my flaws, the places where fear pushes against faith, I try to remember. Small consistent choices may result in big dreams being achieved. Small consistent choices to follow God's leading will result in my character reflecting Him to those I encounter. I read and reread the stories recorded of the disciples and the heroes of the faith. They remind me that God can and will work to perfect my faith. My life still needs polishing just like my stories. Every time I pick up my coloured pens, the story becomes a little bit better. Every day I choose to walk in faith instead of fear, my story reflects God's love.