If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time prior to the end of August (or if you’ve ever talked to me in real life), you’ll know that I talk/blog a lot about love, about what we are called to, what a real man is, what a real woman looks like (inside, not outside), etc, etc, etc. Deep down I knew someday this blog would come, and the truth is that it will probably come out a few more times in the coming…weeks, months, years? Who knows how long I’ll be blogging for, but that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve spent months talking about the theory of love, the romance of it all, the dream, the fairytale my heart longs for…and how I hope to reciprocate that love when my soulmate finally arrived. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between my theories, my dreams and the reality that I’m living. So what is the difference? I’m glad you asked…
No one on the face of the earth can take away your theories or your dreams. You, as a free individual, are free (and in most cases encouraged) to think whatever you like about anything you like. Those thoughts may not at all be true, but you are free to think them nonetheless. The same is true about my own theories about love…they may have been completely wrong, but they were mine to think about (and blog about) all the same. Reality, however, can be taken away, altered, changed. Mr. Irish, as I shall now refer to him, could walk away at any given moment and take this fairytale with him as he walked away. The reality depends on other people. The reality of applying those wonderful theories is sometimes much harder than anyone who simply theorizes can imagine. I could talk about love and how to love and what we are called to all day, but what’s the point if I can’t actually live out that love I’ve been droning on about for months?
It is the same with God.
We could sit here and talk about God all day, we could talk about theology and our theories about what He is like. We could dream about Him, dream about Heaven, dream until our little hearts burst, but what’s the point if we don’t live like there actually exists this God that we’ve been talking about? With our faith, we know the stories, we’ve heard them all time and time before…the great Bible stories, the stories of the great faith of the saints that have gone before us, and all of that is wonderful.
It is the same with love.
We know or we’ve heard all of these wonderful fairytale romances and great proposals in adoration chapels or at Cana (where Christ’s first miracle was performed) or at the site where Jesus died. We’ve heard or been to these amazing weddings where love is professed, tears are cried, and two lives are joined as one. We know it. But the question remains: do we believe it?
Both God and love take faith. It takes faith to jump from the stories, from the theology, from the Scripture, from the saints to actually beliving in God. It takes faith to jump from the fairytale romances, the beautiful proposals, the elegant weddings to actually believing in love in your own life. Talk theory and dreams all you want, I’ll take the reality of faith (though at times difficult), of believing in a God who loves me unconditionally over the theories anyday. Sure, I use the theories to grow my faith…at times I even need the theology to reassure me of my faith, but at the end of the day, I’ll take that leap of faith, knowing that reality with God is far better than my own simple theories about Him alone…my faith makes those theories real. It takes faith to trust that God isn’t going to leave me. In a similar, though not identical way, it takes faith to love. I could blog about love for the rest of my life, but it takes faith to actually live that out. It takes faith and grace to choose to love, day after day, moment after moment. Because, let’s face it, we aren’t going to spend the rest of our lives in some star-struck love…unless you’ve been drugged. We have to choose to love, and that choice takes faith (both in God and in the other person) and grace. It takes faith to trust that He put those theories on my heart so that I would someday be able to live them out, to love another as He calls me to love them (in some way, we are called to love everyone like this, not just our soulmates). It takes faith to trust that Mr. Irish won’t just walk out of my life. It takes faith to believe in God, it takes faith to believe in and live out love, it takes faith to enter into reality and live out all of our theories. Perhaps it takes even more faith to continue living when our theories, when our thoughts about God, about life, about love turn out to be imperfect. It takes faith to be willing to change our own theories and be enlightened by His Truth.
The reality of it all is that it all takes faith. Theories are a great starting place, but just like faith without works is dead, theory without practice becomes nothing more than empty words. Or, as Paul said, “if I speak in human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). Don’t be a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. Join the orchestra (or the band if you prefer). Espouse Love Himself…espouse love.
Lord, help us to know the limits of our theories and once we see those limits, help us to have the faith to trust You, to trust that You give us Truth. Help us to know that Your plans for us are for good, not for harm (Jeremiah 29:11), and that You long to shower us with Your Love, if only we would open our hearts to You. AMEN.