People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
After watching the film, The Letters, a few nights ago, I've been reflecting on the spiritual suffering and loneliness Mother Teresa struggled with throughout her life. And I can't stop thinking about it.
I often assume that those who do the greatest deeds are because they are the happiest. That the giving just flows naturally from an abundantly joyful life, or that giving produces joy. And while there is an undeniably good feeling that results in doing something good, I'm realizing that the two aren't always in step with each other.
This quote is said to have been hanging on the wall in Mother Teresa's home, and after learning about the darkness she walked through, I've been so encouraged and challenged by them.
It seems to me that the call to charity is not dependent on emotions, not ours or anyone else's. To live in love is a command straight from God: love until it hurts, as Christ did for us, no matter how annoyed or inconvenienced or sad or anything you might feel. If people suck, love them anyway, in whatever way you can. Make yourself vulnerable, open your heart to the sufferings of this world and allow God to heal people through you. If you don't feel like dealing with something, deal with it anyway. If you are scared, lazy, tired, bored, nervous -- do it anyway.
When we truly quiet our own minds and ask God for the strength, the direction, the perseverance, and the will to love even when we really don't want to -- beautiful things will happen and we will see the world begin to change. Mother Teresa gave all she had despite being lonely, discouraged, hated, tired, hungry, uncomfortable and God used her to show His healing, comforting, and unconditional love to the world.
How can you and I show others love in this way?