“Loving of God is not an optional extra or a passion for fanatics. It is defining love out of which grows the peace, belonging, and sense of direction that we seek. As I put it earlier, our ability to find and do the will of God is deeply dependent on our capacity for loving God. A hunger for God’s will cannot be grafted onto a life lived on other terms. It has to flow form a life lived in vital connection with God. Much of the frustration we experience in finding and doing God’s will seems to originate here, and there are a number of reasons for it. But one in particular is worth nothing: We blithely suppose that we can have the benefits of a relationship with God without the effort of nuturing the love in which it is grounded.
In a world marked by broken relationships of one kind or another, this expectation is not surprising. We want intimacy without sacrifice, relationships on our own terms, emotional high without lows, getting without giving. These are not the patterns that foster love, however, and that is why many of our relationships flounder in the way they do.
It should not surprise us that the same is true of our relationship with God. When Jesus taught that in loving others we love God, I am convinced that he was not only urging his hearers to be loving but giving expression to a principle deeply at work in our lives. If we cannot comprehend that our lives are deeply dependent on not only receiving love but giving love, then we are not likely to recognize the same deep rhythm at work in our relationship with God.
So if we live our lives in a way that is uninformed by that kind of love and then se suddenly seek God in a crisis or at an important crossroad, it is a small wonder that God seems remote and unmoved by our need. It is, if you will, a bit like accosting someone one a sidewalk and demanding, ‘Meet my need.’ If intimacy is missing, it may be because we have failed to nurture it.
Finding and doing the will of God is not a matter of locating that one thing on a divine to-do list with your name alongside it. Finding and doing the will of God is a creative, life-giving response to the world about you that flows from a love of God.”
Frederick W. Schmidt’s “What God Wants for Your Life”