What do you agape?
I've been doing a little thinking this Christmas Eve. I pray that peace will find you at some point in time this season, despite what the holidays have become.
What is Agape? (Pronounced ah-GOP-pay, as opposed to uh-GAPE, that's just standing there with your mouth open! =^^= ) Agape is a Greek word. It refers to a selfless love. It is considered the highest form of love in that it seeks the benefit of the beloved without the desire of anything in return. The fact that the beloved is better off is reward enough in and of itself. It needs not even to be reciprocated.
Today, it seems that love has been cross-linked with sex. That somehow the two are interchangeable. I remember watching an old French film about a couple that died "prematurely". They were supposed to fall in love and become a couple, but because they were murdered that did not happen. Since it was so unfair, heaven decided to allow them to resurrect and meet. The first thing they did of course was have sex. Ultimately it meant nothing because they immediately abandoned each other to try to get payback against the people that murdered them, instead of trying to make some sort of relationship. Long story short, they promptly ended up dead again and nothing was gained anywhere .
That wasn't love. That was a co-dependent relationship at best with each actor hoping that the other could somehow fix their problems. Or at worst, that problems can be solved by simply running away from them. Overall I didn't see too much "love".
So what is love? I remember listening to a radio show talking to a couple that wrote a book entitled "The five Love Languages". From listening to them, I found some deep wisdom there and more than a few insights into myself. The love languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
How do you know You are loved? Is it when someone tells you? Is it when someone helps you? Is it when someone gives you some token of affection? Do you just like to be with someone, even in silence? Or is it when someone gives you a hug, or a pat on the back? How do you express love to someone else?
My dad was "old school". You never head the words "I love you" come out of his mouth. He was never affectionate with mom as far as we the children could see. However, he took his role as provider with great seriousness. Our house was the first to be paid off in the neighborhood. If a "new" car was purchased, it went to mom. Dad drove the older vehicle until it fell apart, then mom got a newer vehicle and dad took over the older car. He even took a smaller pension to ensure that if mom outlived him, she'd have a little extra income even after he was gone. Dad didn't encourage me much when I built my first blackpowder firearm, but he was willing to give me assistance whenever I asked for it. He built me shelving units for my books and models, and even pigeon hole organizers for my handloading equipment.
I took that for granted, that he wsa bored and had nothing better to do with his retirement. Thank you, father, you did excellent work. I'm sorry I didn't say that while you were still alive. You were a good man, and did the best you could with the tools and resources that you were given.
Agape is the highest form of love. It is a love that inspires one to sacrifice one's self for one's beloved. So, what would you be willing to die for? A scientific theory? A political party? A nation? A specific person? A lifestyle? A moral / ethical code? When I say die, I don't mean on the battlefield surrounded by burning wreckage and heaps of the slain. No, I mean quietly going to take the punishment intended for someone else.
Could I even do that? Just something that I am pondering on this Christmas eve...
Peace be with you.