Don’t abort the mission. You may have to re-strategize, change tactics, or reprioritize, but keep your eye on the goal. I left this message for a friend before he proposed to another friend of mine over the weekend. He’d elaborately worked out a scheme to ask her to marry him at the top of a mountain where the view is spectacular, but the climb isn’t for the faint of heart. Wielding cameras, music, and even a change of clothes for pictures, he had friends get up early and climb to the summit to wait and record the special moment. With the careful, well-thought-out plans, the mission was set into motion.

Who would have thought you’d need a reservation to climb a mountain?

Turns out, in 2020, you do. Thankfully after some quick thinking, he finagled the park director to let them hike an obscure trail. They made it to the summit where friends hid behind a rock playing, Marry You by Bruno Mars. She caught sight of one of the people hiding and broke into tears before he could get on one knee. She was crying so hard he had to ask her if she was okay before he could say, “Will you marry me.” Thankfully, the tears were happy tears. She said yes, and they have the most beautiful engagement photos.

My friends

Plenty of obstacles attempt to hinder us or thwart our plans, but we’ll never experience the joy and spectacular view of heaven if we abort the mission.

In this case, my friend’s mission was to propose to his girlfriend, and despite the roadblocks, he forged the climb and was successful.

But what is our mission?

To love.

We’re told to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and love our neighbor as ourselves, but we can get so caught up in our own detailed plans that we take our focus off our mission. Loving our neighbor sounds easy until obstacles arise. What if the neighbor throws their lawn clippings over the fence into your yard, spouts off about their different political views, never returns what they borrowed, or cranks loud music while you’re sleeping?

Inside we might fume. We might retaliate in kind or run mental replays of how we’d tell them off, but where does that leave us? Loving someone can be easier said than done. However, that is our purpose, and more than ever it seems like we’ve reached mission-critical. When the world starts to spew hate, we are supposed to love. When your “neighbor” acts like the devil incarnate, it’s time to kill him with kindness. When life throws one battle after another at you, open up your arsenal and choose to love, because love conquers all.

Don’t be fooled into believing that love is wimpy, soft, or naïve. Love is a powerful weapon. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always endures, but best of all, love never fails (1 Corinthians 13). It takes a strong, brave person to love. Nevertheless, we can do so because God first loved us.

Don’t abort the mission. Love people throughout the rocky climb, because there are spectacular rewards awaiting us at the summit.

My engaged friends on Mount Monadnock summit

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I couldn’t tease the proposal without showing you the video. Enjoy!