The most valuable lesson I learned at the Seminary

My first year of Seminary there was a guy that I would describe as being "too much".

Just way too intense. He was the kind of guy that would treat pickup basketball games like they were life-or-death situations... I once overheard him say (loudly) -- to no one in particular -- that he was, "trying to be a leader of men". He was completely serious. This was during a flag football game.

Now, I admit that I am overly-competitive. I take pickup basketball games too seriously. I'm a sore loser. I'm sure many people find me unpleasant.

Then one day, after another evening around this unpleasant person, I overheard my good friend use this person's last name as a verb.

He said, "I'm going to Hathaway myself." (This is just an example name.)

I asked him what he meant by that. He said his plan was to trick himself into loving this person.

What made him think to do this? I have no idea.

The plan was astoundingly dumb and really funny.

But I've never seen a man more fully committed to a bit. He wasted no opportunity. If he saw this person on campus, he was complimenting him, high-fiving him, encouraging him. He'd ask him about his likes and dislikes, how his day was going, how his family was doing. He laid it on pretty thick.

He did this every. single. day. For an entire year.

Over the course of that year, I watched as my friend completely lost himself in the bit. But to his credit, the plan worked. He really loved him. And watching my friend love Hathaway, changed the way I felt about Hathaway. I loved him. I just needed someone to show me how.

I really believe that was the most valuable lesson I learned at the Seminary. Actively loving another person, in spite of how you feel towards them, can fundamentally change your heart.

Who's your Hathaway?

Who's driving you crazy right now? Who is the person God is calling you to love?