Is this the world you want? You’re making it. Every day you’re alive. You change the world.
You start to look like what you believe. You flow through time like a stream. The waters of time, made up by you and I. If you change the world for you, you change the world for me.
What you say is your religion.
How you say it, your religion.
Who you love is your religion.
How you love is your religion.
All your science, your religion.
All your hatred is your religion.
All your wars, your religion.
Every breath is your religion.
-Switchfoot, The World You Want
I was having a conversation with my sister a few weeks ago about the influence that words hold on our lives. As we talked, Mikayla brought up this idea that she has been discussing in her classes: the fact that the words we speak shape our reality.
It is interesting to me how integrated our lives are. In the quote above, Jon Foreman sings that we start to look like what we believe. The words that we speak, the thoughts that we think, the beliefs that we hold onto shape our physical beings. What we hold within our bodies: our attitudes, our stresses, our emotions, will inevitably manifest themselves physically. We can see that when we look around. They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I’m not entirely convinced. What we carry inside also shows on the outside – despite how hard we attempt to cover it up.
A small community that I am a part of is currently working through a book by the great yogi, Baron Baptiste. As a part of the Lenten season, we have committed ourselves to practicing daily yoga and meditation as a way of bringing intentionality into our lives. As my yoga instructor has been reminding us frequently, “we are made of love in order to be love.” God created us from love, it flows through the core of who we are. Our job is to share that love with the world, unconditionally, without reserve.
It has brought me to contemplate the idea of love. The word is watered down, it invokes suspicion, especially within the culture where I exist. We look at people declaring love and quickly accuse them of not knowing what love actually is. As if we get to define it. When 10,000 children are abandoned because an organization is willing to open their arms a little bit wider, I declare “Surely, these people don’t know what love is. This is not love.” Yet I am unwilling to consider that I may not know what love is. Because I am certain. Because I am right. I label hypocrite faster than my reflection can be seen in the mirror.
Love is important. So important that Jesus teaches it as being the cornerstone to every law, to the work of every prophet. Everything that flows from God is an act of love. We get to participate in this. The words we say are a reflection of how we love. The deeds we do are a reflection of how we love. The decisions we make, the people we choose to spend time with, the people we choose to leave behind, these all show how we love. We change the world, every day we are alive.
What do we look like?
Do we look like love?
How do we sound?
Do we speak love?
Are we rude? This is not love. Do we insist that our way is the only way, getting worked up when someone disagrees? This is not love. Do we resent people who walk away not believing what we think they should? This is not love. We so often claim that we speak the truth in love, using “love” as an excuse to say anything. We repeat “hate the sin, love the sinner” because it makes us feel good, when in fact love is the furthest thing from us.
Because love is patient. It is kind. It is not self seeking. It is not easily angered. It doesn’t envy, it doesn’t brag. Love bears. Love hopes. Love believes. Love endures.
Is this the world you want? You’re making it.
Get My LGBTQ+ Reading Guide!
Want to learn more but don't know where to start? This guide makes it easy.