Let love last all year

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Love is the answer- to this crooked, evil, and unforgiving world. Love is the answer to the dysfunctional families. Love is the answer to the chaotic, cold, and indifferent workplaces. Have you noticed how the Christmas season is totally different from the entire year? Over the Christmas season, we often feel a somber, joyful, unspoken presence of love in the air. It’s the music, the lights, and the excitement of giving. We are focused on preparing for this one big day which carries through the entire month of December, or until December 26. That’s the day, when the world goes back to normal. Don’t you ever wish that the feeling could last the whole year through? I think, when we are focused on loving one another, we have little room in our hearts to hate, to be impatient, or apathetic.

Let love last all year, gifting others
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Love transforms terrible marriages, restores broken children, and rebuilds unliveable communities. The world we know was built on love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Yet, instead of love, we are bombarded with hate, violence, and evil. By the time children go to school, they are faced with envy, unkindness, distrust, and rudeness. From every angle, you see the opposite of love. Our world, though created by love, seeks to create in us this spirit of hate. Have you ever asked yourself why? Why is it so easy to express hate towards others, rather than show love?

READ MORE: Faith and love move mountains

Our past dictates the person we are. We allow our early interactions with our loved ones to become the voices in our heart that plays like a record years later. Our parents abandoned us, and now we no longer feel deserving of love from others. Our parents abused us, and we in turn abuse others. Someone in our early lives told us we were nothing, and now, we consider ourselves nothing. Have you ever asked yourself why you do that? Why do we let people of our past control our thoughts even when we turn adults? The only voice we ought to listen to is the voice of God, the one that calls us a chosen people, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12). I think we catch the spirit of hate quicker than the spirit of love, and we don’t notice when we have diseased hearts. We can’t tell when we are hurting others with our words, actions, or thoughts. We begin to say things like, I am the way I am, because to change seems too hard.

READ MORE: Love will never fail us

But, this we know, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). In other words, we have to let Christ come into our hearts and scrape out all that hate, all the damage that the world did to us. This is the thing, during the Christmas season, we are our best selves. The world tells us to stop all the hate, and bring our Christmas cheer. Be happy and jolly and spend our money on gifts. But, we don’t have to wait for Christmas to transform our hearts. We can actually do it all year round. We don’t need a special occasion to show love, whether through gifting others, doing acts of service, or words of kindness. Look for ways to show love, and you will be surprised to see how love will literally transform the broken, indifferent, and hateful attitudes around you. First, let YOUR heart be transformed by love through Christ, and then you will be surprised to see how easy it will be to love your neighbour as yourself.

Day Two: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

A stroll along Falls Ave alone can leave you in awe if you’ve never been to Niagara Falls before. The street is filled with restaurants, haunted museums (House of Frankenstein, Haunted House, Ripley’s believe it or not), theatres, shops, ice cream parlours and so much more. There is also a big ferris wheel that somehow fits in this already crowded area. When you remove your eye from one thing, something else catches it. You find yourself constantly looking back for fear you missed something important. One building has a man hanging from a rope; moving in an up and down motion as if climbing it. On first view you think it’s real, but when you look back you realize it’s a dummy. When deciding what to eat, that might take awhile because the restaurants are in quantities! Even Burger King looks appealing! It’s called, “the House of Whopper” in this location. I decided to sit and eat there. I took a window seat so I could get full view of the bustle of activities. So many people! People come in all kinds of colour, shapes and sizes. It’s hard to dissect tourists. I completed my meal and joined the crowd. Every space is occupied by a body, it’s hard to maneuver myself. What other country look as diverse as this one?

I’m walking towards the famous Niagara Falls. I arrive at the end of Falls Ave and I cross the street. I see signs about the prices for “Maid of the mist”- this is an opportunity to get in a boat and go up close to the falls. I’m going to pass on this activity today because it’s too cold to get wet. A couple years ago I had a chance to walk under the falls, which is another activity you have to pay for. I continue to walk along the boardwalk with people travelling in opposite directions with cameras, eyes on the falls. There are two falls. The first is on the U.S side though it flows out into Canada as far as I can see. Right next to it, is the Canadian falls. In comparison, the Canadian falls is like a giant or like a great great Grandfather. Where do all this water come from? And where is it going? It flows so powerful that it leaves this great mist and looks more like smoke is exuding from the water.

What about falls that people like so much? Tourists come from near and far to take pictures. The rain is drizzling but no one is taking shelter. They seem mesmerize by the presence of such a spectacle. I stop for a moment to stare at the falls. I’m surprised to see what looks like a hundreds of birds flocking around. There is a white residue that floats to the edges of the stream? Lake? Boats are in the water conducting tours, going as near to the falls as possible, then turning back.  I wonder if it would be at all possible to climb this falls the way I climbed Dunn’s River? The powerful current and energy of the water washes that thought away. I would probably die if I tried.

Niagara Falls was a great experience. I’ve only seen it a few times. Viewing the falls at night is a completely different experience than during the day. And coming to the Niagara Falls area during Christmas time is also a sight to see with all the lights.