My feet were planted in the very center of the city Paris, France.
Wikitravel.org explains something that I find very interesting. The city of Paris itself is officially divided into 20 districts called arrondissements, numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral from the center of the city (which is known as Kilometer Zero and is located at the front of Notre Dame).
After having just toured the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral I walked outside and stood on a bronze plaque that boasted its name “Kilometer Zero”. Every detail of Paris was beautiful, even where my feet rested for a few moments that day.
Paris is known as the “city of love”. It is indeed lovely. The beautiful Seine river, the Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower, are just a few main sights that make up this lovely place. When you visit a place like this, your mind tucks it away for you, to be taken out from time to time and reflect on those special moments. Such as it has been for me. I hope to one day go back and stand on that plaque and fall in love with this beautiful city all over again.
Thinking of this special moment in time for me reminded me of a passage in Romans.
“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” Romans 12:9-10 MSG
Love from the center of who you are. Is this possible? If so, how does one do it?
Just as Paris has a “center”, we too have a center. Paris, France is known as the “city of love”. Do we really love others, or do we fake it? What is our center? Could it possibly be who we really are? Who we are when no one else is around…our character, our true selves.
Paul tells us to love from the center of who we are. But what about those that are hard to love? Yes, those. What about someone who has hurt us? Yes, those.
He also tells us to run from evil. In saying this, he knew that if we didn’t run from it, then how could we possibly love? Evil and love cannot coexist. He also said hold on for dear life to good. If we aren’t holding on to good, then what are we holding on to? Be good friends who love deeply. Love your friends, for they are a gift from God. Tell them, show them, love them. Practice playing second fiddle. You can’t love someone deeply when it’s all about you. If you’re not playing second fiddle, then you’ve knocked your dear friends off the stage, and grabbed their fiddle and pushed them to the back. Taking center stage you’ve made it all about you.
Paul has more advise a few verses further.
“Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.” Romans 12:14-15 MSG
This is a message for me dear friends. To love my family, and friends from the center of who I am.
A charge from Paul to each of us:
“Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it – because it does.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 MSG