My blog reaches a milestone today. I posted my first blog post five years ago, a quote from Thomas à Kempis from The Imitation of Christ. While there have been a great many changes in my life over the past five years, including many changes in my theological opinions, I still assent whole-heartedly to the words written by this German monk who was born in 1380. If I were to start a new blog today and desired a good quote to begin things I would make the same choice I did five years ago and quote Thomas à Kempis' exhortation to love Jesus "above all else."
Blessed is he who understands what it is to love Jesus and despise himself for Jesus' sake. Jesus wants to be your only love and to be loved above all else; therefore, you must abandon all other beloveds for your one Beloved. The love of a creature is fickle and deceitful, while the love of Jesus is faithful and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall when that creature fades away, but he who embraces Jesus shall stand firm forever.
Love Jesus and keep Him as your friend. When all others forsake you He will not leave you nor will He allow you to perish on the last day. Whether you like it or not the day will come when you find yourself separated from everyone and from everything.
Hold fast to Jesus both in life and in death and commit yourself to His steadfast love, for He alone can help you when all others fail. Your Beloved is such that he admits no rival; He wants your heart all to Himself and desires to reign there as a king on his own throne.
If you could free yourself from all creatures Jesus would gladly dwell within you. If you have placed your trust in men rather than in Jesus you will find that it was almost all wasted. Do not trust nor lean on a reed that is shaken in the wind. All flesh is grass, and all its glory shall fade like the flower in the field.
If you look upon men's outward appearance you will soon be deceived, and if you seek consolation and profit from them most often you will end up being the loser. If you seek Jesus in everything you will certainly find Him, and if you seek yourself you will surely find yourself, but to your own disaster. You do yourself greater harm by not seeking Jesus than if the whole world and all your enemies were against you.
-Thomas à Kempis