My friend Barry-the-builder enjoys dating. He seems to have a lot of fun. Dancing, boating, movies, dinners. He’s asked me several times why don’t I date. The simple (surface-level) answer is that my life is full. But Barry is persistent sometimes. I love that about him.
There’s a longer (deeper) answer that required me to search my heart to give him a better explanation.
I like being in a long-term relationship but I’m not really a dating kind of guy. I’m not against relationships – not at all. I’m a big fan! I’ve been married before. A few times, actually. I liked marriage. I don’t think my ex-wives would say it was the best time of their lives but I found each marriage fulfilling in one way or another.
One of my marriages was especially fulfilling. I tried really hard. She tried even harder. We worked at it. A lot. But there were painful times, particularly for her. The life of an alcoholic/addict may be an interesting train-wreck to a casual observer but it is not much fun for the people that love them. Her love for me was a tangible thing I could feel. She is an exceptionally talented and gifted person, with a creative flair I’ve not seen in anyone since. She is witty and beautiful and graceful and gracious. She loves God. It seemed to me that everything she touched blossomed into something beautiful. Well, almost everything.
The last time Barry asked the question, I explained why I wasn’t dating:
In the course of a man’s life – if he be one of the most fortunate of men – he may get one brief glimpse of a rainbow-colored unicorn in an enchanted forest. It is highly unlikely that he will ever see another one no matter how hard he searches.
Some churches do a good job explaining how to be good stewards of the money and resources that God provides. I agree this is important stuff. But I tell this story about dating because it occurred to me that God gave me a heart that is more precious to Him than anything else I could offer. I concluded that God esteems my heart so highly that I should be very particular about who I give it to. Since He has already shown me the rarest of women, I’m not expecting to encounter another like her.
But if I do see another unicorn I reserve the right to revise my stance. Especially if it is rainbow-colored. But how likely is that?
If you’ve invested the time to read this far, thanks for hanging in there. Here’s the point of this post:
Maybe you don’t think you are rare. God says you are. He declares you are priceless, the apple of His eye, His most precious creation. He thinks the world of you. He wants to be in a relationship with you, even more than I want a relationship with my unicorn-wife. God purposefully chose to present Himself in the person Jesus so He can have a relationship with you.
Perhaps you know the Jesus story. Maybe it seems like old news. However, there’s a big difference between knowing the story and being a part of the story. Like the difference between watching football on TV compared to being Peyton Manning in a Monday night game. (OK, it’s not like that at all.)
I thought it was fine that I knew about Jesus. I went to Sunday School!
Then I met Him.
I am not a preacher. I know some Bible verses but I usually don’t remember where to find them (Neil-the-walking-concordance helps me out). I would probably fail a Christian history test, if there is such a thing.
All I know how to do is to tell the story of how my former miserable, hopeless life – that I was quite willing to cash in, by the way – was interrupted one Tuesday evening when Jesus became real to me.
He wants to become real to you too. Even if you aren’t rainbow-colored.
This is for you, S. I am grateful for the amazing memories.