So I finally saw Fiddler on the Roof this past week… It really is an amazing movie.

I loved seeing how Tevye’s life changed throughout the course of the story. He started out so strictly following all the rules and traditions.. not because he believed in them, but just because that was the way it was. Just as a sort of ritual — “that’s the way it’s always been, so that’s the way it always must be.”

Tevye began to see as time went on that.. just because he might have grown up in a culture where his wife was chosen for him, where love wasn’t something that really mattered to anybody, where there were extremely different classes of people and those classes didn’t associate with each other.. it didn’t mean that that was right. And it didn’t mean that it had to stay that way.

“Times are changing,” as one person or another kept telling Tevye.

I think a major danger that comes with following any kind of tradition is that there is a risk of having it become meaningless. It’s easy to forget — however gradually and unconsciously — why we started out with something to begin with.. to lose that fire that first sparked our excitement. It can become so common that we end up following the ways we’ve always known out of a sense of duty, rather than because we actually want to.

What ever happened to doing everything in love? In 1 Corinthians 16:14, we’re told to do everything in love. And 1 Corinthians 13 expands on this… we can do all sorts of good deeds, but if we’re doing them just for looks.. if we are not living a life of love, then there’s really no point.

As followers of Christ, I am supposed to be doing just that — following Christ. Imitating Him in the same way that the kids I babysit want to imitate and be just like me. Living out the love He shows me by showing it to others in practical ways.

I don’t want my life to be made up of meaningless traditions and rituals. I want it to be made up of love. For God, and for people.

Times are changing. It’s time to live love.

“Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.” ~ Ephesians 5:1-2, Amplified Bible