Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Wait or to Date? That is the question

I'm always surprised to find out who reads these crazy blogs. It includes everyone from those who are single to those who are married to those who are divorced to those who are well-acqainted with the status of "It's complicated." I've also recently learned that I have readers from Japan, Indonesia, and Brazil. So apparently I've gone international, but I won't let myself get a big head, mainly because I still want to fit into my favorite hat. It's a good hat. One time I was driving down the freeway and it blew out of the window. So I pulled over and played Frogger with the high-speed traffic in order to retrieve it. I also think it's funny when my friends tell me not to include our conversations about love in my blogs. They fear the power of the blog, and rightly so.

Anyway, we all have something in common. That is love. What we also have in common is that we are all wide-eyed students when it comes to love. It's something we yearn for and yet we are never quite sure exactly what it is. We are all discovering love. Most of us know that we want love, and yet since we don't fully know what it is then we don't know what it is that we want. The problem is that love gets bigger as you get closer to it. There are no experts, except for God. I think I would have to be God in order to understand love. An attempt to define love is an attempt to define God. You can't do it.

I know so many singles who are praying for a relationship. It's fascinating how we singles are the answer to our own prayer. If we all just paired off then the problem would be solved. But I know that it's more tangled than that, because we all have been taught that there is only one right person for us somewhere. I'm not sure where we got this information, probably from Disney, and we all seem to believe it. And so we wait and wait and wait. Someone is waiting for me and I am waiting for her. We are simply trying to find each other, as if we are in a pool full of people playing "Marco Polo" but everyone is calling out "Marco!" and nobody is saying "Polo!" Waiting has replaced dating. We wait for our Eve, we wait for our Adam. It seems a little less than fair that Adam and Eve were perfect and sinless, and really they didn't have any other dating options at the moment. What an easy decision! It was a classic case of Adam looking at Eve and saying "Me Tarzan, you Jane." But we continue to hear the horror stories about marriage and how catastrophic it is when two people are wrong for each other, and so we wait and wait and wait. Everyone is telling us to wait, but they don't really tell us what we are waiting for and so we wait and wait and wait. At the end of the day it feels as if you've been stood up by a stranger. It feels like waiting for a bus that you don't know the number of, and you don't know where it's going, but somehow you're supposed to know it when you see it and get on before the doors shut. And the buses just keep huffing by as you wait. There are those of us who feel like we've waited this long, so why not wait a little longer? Just in case. And so we wait and wait and wait.

It sounds like I'm chiding waiting, but I'm really not. It is a Biblical concept to wait on God and it an extremely wise thing to do, especially when it comes to marriage. I'm simply commiserating. But it does seem like anything that God calls us to is ultimately a step of faith and obedience and the conditions are never perfect, it's always a bit risky. With God, our obedience is not to be based on ideal conditions but on our trust in Him. And so I just want to challenge my readers as I am being challenged to yield my demands and ideals to the Lord and ask Him "Who do you want me to be waiting for? I trust You."

We are a generation that has grown up in very safe conditions, for the most part. Our culture has mastered the art of safe with all of its safety precautions. We are accustomed to the predictable, and the unknown seems to be off limits. Sometimes, I wonder if we're losing our sense of daring adventure. Somewhere deep within us there are primal instincts that only awaken to the occasion of danger and risk. Relationships are highly explosive and are to be handled with the utmost care. Dating will never be safe. All that passion and all those dreams colliding can do much harm or much good. But again, eventually it will involve a step of faith. And God will be the one calling out "Polo!" We find our Eve or Adam by seeking God. So we are not waiting as much as we are seeking. It is not idle time but an active pursuit of our First Love.