Getting Caught Up

In attempting to catch up from vacation on all the reading I normally do on the web, I ran across these words that made me … think, I guess, and I thought I’d blog about them. You know, before taking the time to talk about my vacation and the rest of life. Which is coming. Really. But I’m trying to catch up at work as well. And maybe squeeze in a load or two of laundry. It’s a balancing act. Really, the trick here is to attempt to explain myself well and truly without revising in light of who I know will read this (because, you know, blogs really are just supposed to be a place where one can think aloud, and sometimes I treat this one more like a letter to friends than a journal, which is all fine and good until I go and have journal-worthy thoughts). [All that to say I’m trying to be honest but to not put too much stake in what I’m saying? I’ve really got to work on brevity.]

While I was too busy investigating whether this was the “right” puzzle piece, I forgot that love isn’t a puzzle at all. It’s not a search for one perfect piece or else all is lost. Instead, it’s a mixture of following God’s will, finding compatibility, and—the part I forgot—choosing to commit. Dating isn’t about finding what you think may be the “right” puzzle piece and then holding your breath through the vows to see if you picked right. It’s about choosing well (with an eye to compatibility, chemistry, and God’s guidance) and then committing to make it work. Love says, “I’m gonna stick with this even if I’m angry at you. Even if I hate you right now. Even if I’m miserable. Even if I’m bored hanging out with you. I choose to love you.”

With that realization, I felt tremendous freedom. No longer was I bound by infrequent emotions or what I thought was the “right” one or not. Now, I could listen wholeheartedly to God, realistically evaluate my compatibility with my girlfriend, and work to make our relationship the puzzle piece that fits.

I’ll readily admit that I fell into the idea of soul mates and “the one” and perfection and all that. It sounds great, doesn’t it? If you find your soul mate, then obviously everything in life will be wonderful. Clearly, if you’re soul mates, you won’t have any problems. Um, right. At least I came to realize that soul mates don’t come solely in the form of spouses. has been someone whom I have referred to as being my soul mate because we have that kind of relationship, and in many respects conversing with her feels like talking with myself, or like coming home. I’d probably say the same thing about , but I just consider that our sisterly bond, I guess. I don’t think that your spouse/lover/whatever-you-want-to-call-that-person has to be your soul mate, or that you only have one soul mate. I do think he/she should be your best friend, but those two things are not mutually exclusive or inclusive. One or the other or both – it’s all good.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. I had a professor in college who challenged my belief that “there’s one right person out there for you.” He said God’s will was much more like a field, and you could run into any number of people that are right for you and you can choose and each would be acceptable to God. I still don’t agree with that, but as we all know, I have a pretty strong view of the sovereignty of God (and a much weaker belief in free will, but that’s not really what this discussion is about). I do believe that God has a plan and there’s one right person and here’s how that plays out: if you’re interested in someone, or dating someone, or whatever, and it doesn’t work out, even if you think that person was “the one,” they obviously weren’t. You can’t screw up your “only chance” with “the one.” Call it the steady hand of God, call it fate, or just call it crap if you disagree with me, but that’s where I’m coming from on this.

We all know (well, those of us who have grown up enough to know that life isn’t all roses and chocolate and once you get married or the closing credits roll, real life continues and it’s messy and hard and not always fun) that finding the right person is hard, and that even once you find that person it doesn’t mean everything is easy. Just because they’re “the one” doesn’t mean they don’t have flaws, or that you don’t have parts of you that annoy the crap outta them, or that you won’t disagree on potentially huge and important issues. I think it means, however, that it works anyways.

But back to the article I quoted. The point isn’t even about finding “the one,” but what you do with that find. The idea of sticking to our commitments is a foreign one in today’s society. But that magic combination the author referenced:

following God’s will, finding compatibility, and… choosing to commit

that’s a brilliant statement right there.

And now, as usual, I get to the point of my post where I realize I haven’t really said what I meant to say, but can’t figure out exactly how to express what I originally thought when I read the article. Crap. Well, maybe I’ll try again later. Those are my unedited thoughts for today.