After a day of playing in the crashing waves, we washed up in the public shower as best one can when trying to wash sand off while still wearing a bathing suit. We carefully managed to change into some dry clothes, doing our best to avoid the questionable bathroom floors. Blankets were passed around, and if you managed to get a chair then you considered yourself lucky. As the sun set on the wet horizon, and the last rays of sunshine faded into the darkness a new light started to shine. Bonfires scattered up and down the coastline were slowly growing in strength and warmth, and our salty selves huddled around the flames with our friends and families.
I looked up and down the shore. The sun was gone; the moon was hiding somewhere behind the clouds. We looked like nomads, making temporary homes. While some ventured out to the water's edge, most returned to the gatherings around the fires—perhaps out of the sense of safety we felt near the light. It's funny how fire can be so attractive despite the power it has to completely and utterly destroy.
Like the fire we stood around that attracts and compels awe in us, so does the glory of God call us to reverence and wonder. He desires for us to acknowledge that He should be placed above all others in our hearts. And because of this, relationships and other desires might be divided from our lives.
In today’s Gospel, Christ presents this dangerously attractive love and calls us to examine what is first in our heart of hearts.
Is He first in your heart? Or is someone or something else taking precedence?
Perhaps you can take a moment today and invite the refining fire of God’s love into your heart and ask that you might learn to love Him first.
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.