31 days: seasons of love

Time. I’ve heard a lot about it over the past few days.

I’ve heard about how lives are changed over time. God created us over time. God proved love to us over time. God waits for us and pursues us over time.
We grow in relationship and love with one another over time. Meaning is created in a person over time. Time creates worth in a person.

When I think about time, I am automatically drawn to my all-time favorite musical: Rent. The story of Rent is a unique one, if you haven’t heard it. Not just the plot line (a newer version of La Boheme), which is a pretty amazing story all on it’s own. No, I’m talking about the story of  how Rent came into being. It happened over a long period of  time, and the creator never actually got to see it become a Broadway hit. Take a few minutes to read a bit about the story behind Jonathan Larson and his dream, Rent, here and here. Rent will open your eyes, challenge you and even if you don’t agree with some of the social issues and how they’re handled, you will agree that the story of people and their lives is an amazing one.

Seasons of Love
by Jonathan Larson

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It’s time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)
Remember the love
(You know that life is a gift from up above)
Remember the love
(Share love, give love, spread love)
Measure in love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love
Seasons of love
(Measure your life, measure you life in love)

 

I recently heard a profound statement: love over time = worth. I think that’s exactly the point that Jonathan Larson is trying to make in this song and musical. That life is going to happen, but when you love someone, and do so over a period of time, you add value to their life and give them worth. And when someone has worth, it makes them invaluable and it’s then nearly impossible to measure a life except in their worth and the love they have and that you have for them.

This song can be applied to so many situations, but when I think of this song, knowing it’s context, I immediately call to mind some colleagues/friends who measure lives in love on a daily basis. I think of my brother and sister in ministry Bill and Aimee Buchannan, who followed the passion that God placed on their hearts to bring life and worth through love over days, weeks and years to a population of individuals in Asheville, NC who have all too often been treated as if they are worthless. Asheville Youth Mission, Bill and Aimee’s dream ministry, imparts to hundreds of students and adults that every person has a life and a story, and we are placed here to live into their stories and weave their stories into our very own stories. Through simply sitting under a tree on a Wednesday afternoon to play a game of giant Jenga and enjoy a popsicle with a neighbor who doesn’t have a home, or playing games on the grass with children we’ve not before met, we breathe life into their souls, experience God’s love in their lives, and hear a story that might otherwise be unheard or forgotten.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t say that Aimee’s life was taken from us too soon, at least as we all see it. But the measure of her life – a life abounding in love – continues to grow through every person who knew her, every person who experienced her teaching, smile or laughter, and even through her popsicles. “Share love, give love, spread love…” Aimee did, and because of her hundreds of youth every year learn what it means to measure a person’s life in love rather than possessions. I am grateful that my life contains a season of Aimee’s love, and will continue to have a season of Bill’s love as well.

One year is 525,600 minutes long.
That’s 525,600 opportunities to share love and life every year.
Share love, give love, spread love.
Measure your life in love.

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