My autocorrect is a passive-aggressive menace. Most days he follows along, a faithful butler who sees my needs and quietly corrects my errors. But, much like most movie butlers, autocorrect is not entirely compliant in his place.
He takes sideswipes at my past spelling mistakes by innocently including them in his suggestions. He won’t let me forget that one time I kept caps-lock on for an entire paragraph. He even presumes to know what I want to say, when in reality I want much the opposite. An exasperating fellow, that autocorrect. Still, I wouldn’t be able to get by without him. And sometimes, much like most movie butlers, he makes me stop and consider my ways.
The cause of such strange thoughts on autocorrect? A simple switching of vowels.
Almost every time I type the word “live” on my phone, this butler switches it to “love.” You might not think this is a huge deal. But this slight change can become quite a problem when you ask a friend if they want to go see a live show.
But though it may cause a few mishaps, I wonder if my autocorrect is actually correct. Perhaps those terms should be more interchangeable. Perhaps they should be more the cadence of my life…
To live is to love. To live is to love others. To live is to love Christ. And at this point in the reasoning I shrugged my shoulders. Oh, it’s a nice analogy, a neat story leading into it, but I’ve heard this point before dozens of times. Live to love Christ. Thanks, that’s great, we can type it over a nice picture and post it into our Instagram theme. (Though we probably shouldn’t.)
We’re used to that phrasing. All I do is to love Christ and others. That’s all life is. But because we’re used to that phrasing, it becomes familiar, and the familiar breeds no difference. That’s all life is, hum ho, we’ll do it every day, but it doesn’t sound like much fun.
But what if we flipped the phrase the other way? What if to love is to live? This isn’t just some fancy semantics, or some vague Confucian proverb. What if loving is the only way to truly experience life? After all, Christ did say, “I am the life.” Everything else is vague shadows, this is True Life, True Reality.
It’s like when there’s a fog over the early morning. The world is still there, we know. Yet it feels so distant. So different. So otherworldly. Everything is grey and dull and fuzzy.
But what if you could break through?
If you could soar, ascend high above the grey rooftops and burst through the barrier of grey? Then you could see the sun, bright and glorious, and the wide expanse of sky beckoning you to come and revel in its freedom. Perhaps that’s what life is truly like.
Sin has blinded and broken us all, leeching the colors from Eden’s flowers. We know Reality is still there, but it’s far and distant and we’re cut off from it. But we can break out from the mist. When we love Christ, we get true living. Singing and dancing in the True, made clear once again. Life is not actually life, unless we love Christ.
Without Him, we are painted at best a broken imitation, at worse a complete mockery, or perhaps more accurately, a blank canvas. Nothing. Meaningless, purposeless, wandering lost in an indifferent world. Nothing. This world is not ours, it doesn’t even give us the satisfaction of acknowledgment as we rage and war and worship it. Material life has no care for us, it doesn’t discriminate between sinner and saint. It’s full of shadows slipping past us, swirls in the mist. We begin to wonder if we’re even here. If you fall in this grey world, when there’s nothing solid around, do you really ever crash, or even make a sound?
But the Son has broken through.
He floods our worlds with light, making it solid again. Structures exist, time exists, and we have a purpose. We see where to go. We see where we’re walking. We can now identify both friend and foe. The world has crystalized — into mountains and hidden green glades and seashells along the shore. Life has become real again.
Loving Christ reunites us with the should-have-been. The way we we’re made. The key we’re supposed to be in, so the whole symphony sounds right. To truly live (I’ve never seen studies on it, yet it must be true) we humans require three things — purpose, allies, and beauty. Without purpose we flounder. Without allies we despair. Without beauty we shrink, shrink into something less than human. But Christ gives us all three. Purpose in following and fighting for the true king. Allies in the Church that becomes family, in friendship with the Divine. Beauty in the goodness and delight that He weaves into all the world.
To love Christ is to live, to live fully and completely and solidly. Anything else is to reside in the world of grey mist, and though we know one day the Sun will come to burn it all away, yet we choose to walk in it now.
To live is to love Christ yes. Life is no less than that, yet it’s also more. Living and loving all mixed together, the straight beams of the I mixing with the never-ending circle of the O; the I AM and the Infinite inhabiting both.
May that be the definition of our lives. May we always remember that when I live I love Christ; because when we love Christ we live. May living and loving becomes more interchangeable.
And when we forget, may we always have passive-aggressive autocorrect butlers to nudge us back on track.