Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dating or in Love?

The convergence of the Milk and Missouri Rivers reminds me of the difference between dating and being in love. In dating there is a lot of dress up and performance. It is imitation life, idealized, not actualized. Actions and attitudes are planned to impress, to make the best possible appearance in the hope of gaining acceptance. It is acting center stage in the spotlight, a theater production complete with props, scripts and directors. There is a lot of dress up, make believe, fantasy, pretending, role playing, getting into character, theatrics. It is trying to make yourself fit into the assumed preconceived image the other has of you. There are schedules to keep, specific places and people to see and to avoid. Dates are planned with a starting and stopping point. The curtain goes up and comes down at the same door where livable life resumes. Dating is fun, but it is not real life.

Being in love is more wysiwyg. It is spontaneous, unrehearsed, unscripted, unplanned, unpromoted, unprompted. Attitudes arise from the incubator of the soul and give birth to actions that touch the heart of the loved one and meld two souls into one. Thoughts of obedience, performance, rules, do’s and don’t are moving towards non-existence, merely a ripple from the past. Love is two streams merging into one river. The further down the river you travel, the harder it is to tell which stream you were until there is no remembrance or resemblance of the individual streams, just the river.. There is a oneness that denies and defies separation. Life is lifted to a new plain, with a new purpose and a new power in the union to do the unimaginable. There is an ever growing sense of wholeness, completion, peace, fulfillment, purpose. As the love grows, the relationship grows to contain it, plus leave a little room for more growth.
This all comes to mind as I consider Christs commands to OBEY. What He is really asking me to do is to fall completely in love with Him. He wants to live in, with and through me. To often I act like we are just dating. As I become ONE in love with Him, he changes me as surly as the Missouri changes the Milk river. By the time the Missouri enters the Mighty Mississippi, there is no visible trace of the Milk left. I want that to be truer and truer of me as I travel towards my final destination. The shack discussion guide


Doni Brinkman said...

Me too and I love the river analogy.

heidi jo said...

i'm SO glad you included this visual - stunning. of course, i was thinking of dating and marriage and my own experience as i read - but had a sneaking feeling of where you would take this... partly thinking i wouldn't be too surprised. but the way you worded it DID bring fresh meaning and life to the idea. i love it. sooo precious.