Recently a friend called me an old sentimental fool. I immediately smiled. I love my attachments to people. My family, my friends, my memories. Sure, there are some things back there I’d rather forget, but we all have those.
The definition of sentimental includes: “feelings of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia in an exaggerated and self-indulgent way.”
Someone once told me that being sentimental was foolish and a waste of time. I get that too. To be sentimental means you put yourself out there. You make yourself vulnerable in a tender way. You show yourself to others in ways that are open to criticism, open to rejection. It is a chance we take.
But being sentimental also has its advantages. It says, “I’m putting myself out there. If you take me for me then you will truly know me. If you reject me, you will miss out.” It’s an honesty that is raw, but true.
Soon after I was called a sentimental fool, I read Psalm 147 talking about God and nature.
He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills. (Ps 147:8 NIV)
He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. (Ps 147:16-18 NIV)
I don’t think it was by accident that I then heard a song on KLOVE by Natalie Grant called Alive.
Do we ever consider that perhaps the biggest sentimental fool of all is God? He has created all these things for us. He puts himself out there every day in every moment. From the smallest of snowflakes, to the boldness of the deep red rose, from the tiniest tear drop to the rushing of an avalanche, God created it all.
And what is our answer?
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.” (Ps. 14:1 NIV)
So why would a Creator capable of such incredible feats be trying so hard to get our attention with nature?
“The LORD looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.” (Ps14:2 NIV)
Love. God is love. He wants to love us. In each creation, He cries out, “I AM here!”
So why doesn’t Yahweh just boom out of the heavens, “Here I am. Believe in me!!!”
Simple. That is not His way. Love never pushes itself on anyone. If it did, it wouldn’t be true love. So God allows us to reject Him and choose our own destiny.
Can you imagine how much a love hurts when it is not chosen? Yes! We all have been rejected at some time.
But what about True Love? What happens when we reject True Love of God?
That’s why there is a place called Hell. It is there for those who choose not to be with God. And God did not create Hell, we did. It is a place absent of God, absent of creation, absent of love. It’s a place WE choose, not Him. And God will mourn each and every loss of a soul to that place, but He will never take away our free will to choose to be without Him.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV)
God ALWAYS hopes. God ALWAYS perseveres. When we are lost, all we have to do is ask. Ask for Him. He will be there. He will send a peace that is unlike any other. But in order to receive that peace, we have to let go and let Him in.
And that is why He constantly gives us renewal in nature. He says, “I know you are hurting, I AM here. I will be here today and I will be here tomorrow.”
Sentimental fool. Thinking that He can reach us in the quiet majesty of creation…
And yet, He hopes, He endures.