Start with something you love. The laughter of your child. Sunlight on the ocean. Your beloved dog. A favorite song, music itself. Perhaps a photo, like my caribou. A favorite spot—your garden, the cliffs at the sea, the family cabin. Someone dear to you. We begin with the things we love; this is the way back, the path home. For we don’t always draw the connection—God made these specifically for you, and he gave you the heart to love them. You’ll be out for a bike ride in the very early morning, cool breeze in your face, all the sweet, fresh aromas it brings, the exhilaration of speed, and your heart spontaneously sings, I love this! The next step is to say, So does God. He made this moment; he made these things. He is the creator of everything I love. Your heart will naturally respond by opening towards him.

It’s like throwing your faith a lifeline: Every wonderful thing in your life is a gift from God, an expression of his heart towards you. All your precious memories, each and every one—your eighth birthday, when you got that little red bike that awakened your love of riding, which carried right on into your adult life. That perfect powder day, when you and your fiancé skied run after run, then warmed up by the fire in the lodge. The vacation you still think about, how fun it was, how carefree you felt. Your wedding reception: the dancing, the inextinguishable joy of it all. Every moment you have ever been happy, thrilled, comforted, hopeful ... that was God loving you. Such gifts come from no other source. “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. ... Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (Psalm 145:16; James 1:17).

No other act will bring you a greater measure of God than loving him, actively engaging your heart and soul in loving him. Because as we do, the flower of our being opens up to the sunshine of his presence and all the goodness he longs to breathe into us. The best way to get there is to think upon the things we love and remind ourselves, “This is from God; this is his true heart.”

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