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From the love of knowledge to the knowledge of love

I’ve suffered some major disappointments and heartbreaking set backs in the past five years. I would tell you what they were if I hadn’t already moved so far beyond them. I’ll be happy to share with you, however, the process by which I was able to let go of the things that were weighing me down.

One day I was thinking….

What if God came down right now, met me at Starbucks for a mocha, and said “Okay, TK. Let’s dive in. I’m gonna answer all your questions about why all of these tragedies happened.”

I thought to myself, “what could God possibly say to me that would make me feel better? I want what I want. Giving me a logical explanation for why I can’t have what I want doesn’t change the fact that I want it. It just irritates me even more because now I still don’t have what I want AND I realize that I’m being illogical for griping about it. That’s a total no win for me.”

Here’s where I remembered the words of my favorite Nat King Cole song “Nature Boy”:

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eyes
But very wise was he
 
And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return

I know it’s cheesy, but I honestly think the nature boy was dead on.  What we need is to be connected to love. What we need is to know that we’re going to turn out all right and that love will win in the end.

Things do get messy during some stretches, but in every moment there is always an element of love reaching out to us somewhere. It may be a family member or a friend who is there for us. It may be a song that lets us know we’re not alone in the way we feel. It could be the story of one who overcame similar odds. Whatever it is, we know it by the way it feels.

I think our job during these moments is to weather the storm the best way we can by hanging on to the love of those we do have. As the saying goes “this too shall pass.” No heartbreak lasts forever. With time, we’ll eventually get the perspective and healing we need for every situation.

In the movie “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”, the lead character was a handsome, talented, and popular athlete who was on his way to fulfilling his olympic dreams. But one day, he shattered his leg in a motorcycle ride and everything he called “life” faded before his very eyes. He eventually met a man who helped him to re-define his life. I remember one scene where the boy gets really flustered and says “I can’t do this. What’s the point when I can’t do what I love?” The old man said to him “A peaceful warrior can’t always do what he loves, but he can always find a way to discover the love in what he does.”

That insight was the starting point of a phenomenal story of redemption, healing, and hope. The boy was able to bounce back from tragedy and create a life he never thought was possible by shifting the focus of his journey from the pursuit of knowledge to the practice of love.

We can do the same. Let’s give it a try.

T.K. Coleman

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