Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Love worth Living for

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Falling In Love

In Six Acts

A Passion Play

(Or what happens when you fall down that long well of passion over a person, a place, a sport, a game, a belief, and your heart goes boom and your mind leaves town.)



Act I Lust/Infatuation

(I think I love you. Who are you anyway?)

HERE IT IS, THE BIG "WOW," THE BIG "GEE," THE BIG "YES,YES,YES"

YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR. THIS IS WHERE YOU FIND SOMETHING OR SOMEONE AND BELIEVE THEY ARE BETTER, GREATER, CUTER, WISER, MORE WONDERFUL THAN ANYTHING YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN. INFATUATION IS A NECESSITY, FOR WITH IT WE IMAGINE OUR BODIES MOVING THE WAY OUR BODIES WERE MEANT TO MOVE: WE CAN DO MARATHONS WITH OUR FEET, LIFT POUNDS WITH OUR ARMS, HAVE STARS IN OUR EYES AND DO A NIFTY TANGO. AND YOU THINK:

I have no need for food, I have no need for sleep, I have no needs other than occasionally chewing a breath mint. You are the best thing that's ever happened to me, probably because you haven't happened to me yet. Now I can pass into the next Act, so poetically called:


Act II Euphoria

(Or: Oh yippee, you're mine.)

YOU FEEL FUNNY INSIDE. YOU FEEL FUNNY OUTSIDE. YOU FEEL YOU COULD DO ANYTHING AND NO ONE WOULD DARE LAUGH AT YOU. THIS LOVE, YOU WILL TREASURE. YOU WILL NOT PUT IT IN THE BASEMENT NEXT TO YOU ROWING MACHINE, TREADMILL, AND THERMAL BODY SWEAT WRAP. AND YOU WILL NOT TAKE THIS LOVE FOR GRANTED, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF ALL. AND YOU SAY:

I feel so good, I feel so strong, I feel actually attractive and I could learn to live with this feeling. Oh let us sing and dance and eat brown mushy foods low in fat! Oh joy! Oh rapture!

Oh but what if I'm no good at this? Oh I am no good at this. I am a dingy speck on the wall of humanity and look how badly painted that wall is! I am becoming very, very afraid. This must be because I'm passing into thr Third Act, called:


Act III Fear

(Also known as: Uh-oh.)

THIS IS WHERE THE DOUBT BEGINS, WHERE THE MIND COMES BACK FROM SHOPPING, YELLS AT THE HEART, BINDS AND GAGS IT TO A NICE LOUNGE CHAIR AND ALLOWS GUILT, FAILURE, AND REMEBERENCES OF THINGS PAST TO SIT IN FOR A NICE GAME OF BRIDGE. THIS IS WHERE YOU FEAR WHAT YOU NEED MOST. IF IT'S A PERSON YOU LOVE, YOU FEAR APPEARING FOOLISH IN FRONT OF THEM. IF IT'S A SPORT, YOU FEAR BEING FOOLISH IN FRONT OF MANY, MANY PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME. AND YOU BEGIN TO THINK:

Oh no. What if I'm wrong? What if this stinks? What if my heart has blinders on, it's had blinders on before, in fact it had dark heavy patches taped all over it. How can anyone love me if I don't love myself? I mean, I love myself, there are just parts between the top of my head and the bottom of my feet that could use some improvement. I'm not demeaning myself, I have relatives who do that.


Act IV Disgust

(And the strange desire to eat everything in sight, hind in your room and watch old Gidget movies with friends from highschool.)

NOW COMES THAT UNAVOIDABLE TIME WHEN YOU SAY TO ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN: WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING, ANYWAY? IF IT'S A PERSON YOU LOVE, FIRST YOU HATE ONLY THEIR FOULEST INADEQUACIES, THEN YOU START HATING THEIR GOOD POINTS AS WELL. IF IT'S RUNNING YOU LOVE, YOU START TO HATE HILLS, SIDEWALKS, AND BAD WEATHER, AND SOON ANYTHING THAT SLIGHTLY RESEMBLES A BUMP, CONCRETE, OR A SMALL BREEZE.

I can't believe I ever said I felt this way, I must have been dreaming! Wait, THIS IS NO DREAM, THIS IS A FILM NOIR MOVIE, and one of those really dark ones, too. I mean, is this love? This is what they tell you about when you're 11 and naive? Or 32 and more naive?


Act V The Truth

( Love is hard work. And, sometimes, hard work can really hurt.)

LOVE IS A GAME. IF THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU BEFORE, WE WILL TELL YOU NOW. LOVE IS A GAME AND IF YOU PLAY YOU EITHER WIN, LOSE OR GET EJECTED BEFORE THE GAME IS OVER. THERE ARE NO TIES. MAYBE YOU'LL LOSE AND LEARN SOME GREAT MEANINGFUL ANSWER FROM IT ALL (LIKE IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT IS). IT'S EASY TO LOVE SOMETHING WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK AT IT. IT'S HARDER WHEN IT ASKS SOMETHING OF YOU, YOU MIGHT BE AFRAID TO GIVE.

GIVE IT ANYWAY.

The heart is the most resilient muscle. It is also the stupidest. So if this love you've found is good to you, hold it, keep it, shout about it. If it isn't, then maybe you should just become very good friends.


Act VI The Finale

(Also known as the big whopperdoodle, or, the most important part of this whole darn thing.)

SO THIS IS LOVE, AS DEMANDING AND NOURISHING AND DIFFICULT AS IT CAN BE, AND AS STRONG AND AS WISE AS IT MAKES YOU BECOME. THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE GAINED FROM COMMITMENT. THERE ARE REWARDS FOR STAYING WHEN YOU WOULD RATHER LEAVE. AND THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR RUNNING UP THAT HILL WHEN YOU WOULD RATHER SLIDE DOWN IT. AND SO YOU LET LOVE COME AND PERCH UPON YOUR SHOULDER. AND YOU DO NOT TURN IT AWAY. YOU DO THE TANGO.

Just do it.

(Yes, this is a advertisement for NIKE.)
Or it was back in the early 90's.

I've had this magazine article since high school. It made me laugh- probably because I've found parts of it to be so true, at least for myself. I've been swept up in the whirl wind of love. I've been on top of the world and in the depths of despair. I've felt like I was caught up in a game I didn't know the rules to, and at times the brunt of a very cruel joke. But that is not love. Love is not a feeling. It is a gift, a giving of one's self in order to serve another. And it is a commitment. It is not wishy-washy. Love is there through the good times and the bad, sometimes the very, very bad. There are feelings involved, a connection. Sometimes there are very intense feelings initially, sometimes it starts very small and blossoms, grows and develops. But we can not rely solely on our feelings because our feelings will deceive us. (A perfect example of this is how the devil uses our feelings to deceive us into believing we are unworthy and incapable of being loved by God. The cross was not for me; God could never love someone like me. What about the mistakes I've made? The shame, the guilt the pure wretchedness of it all is far too great for God to love me.) LIE! Jesus didn't feel like going to the cross. He gave up of himself- in agony, in order to love us! When he washed the disciples' feet, He asked them to love one another in the same way. To humble them selves and serve one another, in a way that puts the other person above them selves. Should we not do the same in our own house holds and in our own marriages? Feelings say it's all about me, me, me. My needs, my wants are what are important and when my needs are met then I can and will meet the needs of others. LIE! Is this the example Jesus gave us to live by? No! But it certainly is what the world will tell you love is all about. That is why this monthly marriage challenge is so important to me. The devil is trying as hard as he can to tear apart every sacred covenant that God has established (the church, marriage, I could go on and on.) It's up to us to protect it and to love and serve and encourage one another. I hope you will join me. Blessings to you all!


Beautiful Words from God on love-



I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:1


The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

8 comments:

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Great post, Tiffany! Just this week, hubby & I saw 2 commercials back to back for a show called "Unhitched" and another where you face the lie detector (and the woman's ex-boyfriend asks her if she'd leave her husband to get back with him...and she says yes!) I told hubby that those 2 commercials are the reason the American family is crumbling. So sad!

P.S. - I'm going to try to do the book meme tonight.

freetofly said...

Tiffany, this is so powerful! I especially like the points you made towards the end. It IS a lie of the enemy's that we fall for, that if we get this ONE thing, then we will be happy & we can focus on what's important. But, it's a mirage. It never satifies, when we focus inwardly like that.

And our culture IS abandoning covenant relationship. I appreciate so much when I hear people that care so much about this, like you and others. I am encouraged and I know it encourages others! It helps us refresh go back and love and serve and stand some more!

Thanks so much for this post and your paricipation!

Love in Christ,
Maria

Denise said...

Awesome post, really enjoyed this.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Wow and yes I will say WOW again.
First I love how you wrote this out in acts. The stages are so true. So many give up just before the good stuff settles in. They hit the work at it part and they just quit.
It is hard work. And sometimes you get the ooey gooey s to go with it and sometimes you just get the assurance that you pleased God.
And yes, i want to please my husband--but bottom line.......I so want to know that I pleased God. That I lived a life of loving the people He created.
Good post girl!

And yes, I got my cake yesterday.Walked outside to get something out of my truck and it was sitting on the front door step.
So......I think I will do it Sunday because we are having dinner on the grounds. I took the extra books you sent and left them at church last night. ;) I am not a sales person-but maybe someone will pick one up and be overcome by desire. :)
Thanks again!

kmom3 said...

Such a great post! His example of how to love is so amazing and so against everything our culture promotes! Thanks for posting this. It is always good to be reminded that loving others means life cannot be all about me, me, me!
Blessings!
Kimberly
Note:Did the book meme today! :)

Irritable Mother said...

Love is a decision. It takes work. Yes - you are right on these things!
Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

And was that REALLY a Nike Advertisement??? Wow!

luvmy4sons said...

Wow. I say again, Wow! To know the beauty the joy of agape love, the committment. If love lasts forever as we are told than these other feelings are something other than love. To be able to hold on through and past those other feelings to understand true unconditional love. What a gift. How necessary for all marriages. What a glorious plan God has put in place. A true and lovely example of Christ and the church, if only we would grasp it and live it out. Than you for this post! Amen!

Joy @ Joy in the Journey said...

Wow! This is a great post! We are thinkin' along the same lines, you and me! :)
Oh, and I LOVE Created to be a Help Meet (I saw that you recommended it in a post below this one), it is one of my all time favorite books.
Blessings!
Joy