A while back, I came across the sad but true story of Glynn Wolfe. According to the story, Mr. Wolfe had died all alone in Los Angeles at the age of 88. When he died, no one came to claim his body, so the city had to pay to have him buried in an unmarked grave. Now as the story pointed out, this was sad but not unusual. In large cities where people tend to live disenfranchised lives, this will often happen.
Mr. Wolfe’s situation was unique, however, because he was no ordinary man. You see he held a world record. The Guinness Book listed him as “The Most Married Man” with 29 marriages to his credit. Isn’t that incredible! That means 29 times he went to the altar and vowed to take 29 different women to be his lawfully wedded wife so long as they both shall live, but all 29 times never quite worked out that way. As a result, he died leaving behind children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, a number of ex-wives, and innumerable ex-in-laws and yet he still died alone. In other words, he spent a lifetime looking for true love but apparently never found it because he died alone.
Glynn Wolfe is an extreme example of how people can spend their lives drifting in and out of marriages, in and out of relationships, only to find themselves isolated and alone. There are also others who can spend their lives married to the same person and still end up feeling isolated and alone—never truly finding the secret to true love.
What is the secret to True Love? People have searched for that answer throughout history. The fact of the matter is, however, that if we are looking for ultimate fulfillment in marriage, romance, friendship or family, we will never find it. As important as these relationships are, they cannot take the place of the Ultimate relationship for which we have been created. For you see, our primary purpose in life is to love God. And when we allow secondary relationships to take God’s rightful place in our lives, we become dissatisfied and frustrated. Like Glynn Wolf, we end up isolated and alone.
Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment of all is. He responded by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Then, He gave a second part to this command by telling us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” In other words, Jesus makes clear that our success in loving others is dependent upon our willingness to love God above all else with all we have.
This will be the topic of our six week spiritual growth campaign entitled, “The Face of Love” starting September 26. This campaign will provide an opportunity for our whole church family to focus on this important topic of love together at three levels: daily devotional book, small group discussions and Sunday morning emphasis. I can’t stress enough the importance this focus can have on our lives, our church and our community (According to Jesus, there is no greater pursuit than growing in His love because it is what life is all about. There is no greater commandment to follow).
Glynn Wolfe never came to understand that in his life and he died alone. Let’s not make the same mistake! Instead, let’s seek to love God first and foremost in our lives. And let’s begin by making this spiritual growth campaign a priority in our lives and for our families. Then we will never be alone, for that is the secret to finding true and lasting love.
- Pastor Todd Ertsgaard
*Interested in signing up for a small group? Join one of our The Face of Love groups! Contact the church office for more information.*