One of my favorite movies is “For Love of the Game.” It’s the story of a major league pitcher named Billy Chapel, skillfully portrayed by Kevin Costner. Billy had a long and brilliant career, but I believe the secret of his success and prosperity was not just because he was talented and hard-working (he was both), but because he had something even more important: he loved baseball. When he played, he could tune everything else out – the crowds, past memories, the pain in his shoulder – and just play. He became one with the ball and the diamond in a trinity of excellence, and all because he did it for love.
When we love something or someone, we give it all of ourselves. We are present to it, involved in it, and what we do is effortless. We give it our complete attention and our mind and body work together in a symphony of union with Love.
“This is for you, Robert”
When I sold my house, moved across the country and spent my savings to attend seminary in the 90’s, I did it for love. For love of my husband, Robert, who had died the preceding year. It was his love for me and his believing in me that inspired me to do it. And every day since, now 16 years later, I do my work for love because I love what I do.
It’s true for all of us. The foundation of our lives and our work and our prosperity and our success is that we do it – whatever it is we are doing – for love. Whether we are a cook like Brother Lawrence, a stay-at-home mom, a businessman or an athlete, let us do it “FOR” something – for love of God, for love of your spouse, for love of music or art or nature. Whisper it in your heart…”This is for you.”
Wherever you are right now, sitting in your office, at your computer, perhaps worried about finances or family or health, I invite you to see what happens when you make the inner shift to doing it for love.
Perhaps this is what Jesus of Nazareth meant when he said to “seek the kingdom and its righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6: 33) Do what you do for Love and the things of life will come into your life too.