March 31, 2012

I Want to be Proud of my Heart

Ok, so, most of you probably know I'm a hopeless romantic. Or something like that. The deal is basically that I spend very few days of my life not pining after one girl or another, usually sequentially, occasionally simultaneously. Yeah, weird, I know, but that's sort of me in one word, once you really get to know me. Or it could be that other one, but that's not for me to say.

Anyway. That's kinda how I've lived all my life. I may not have been obsessing over girls at age five or eight or twelve or anything, but since probably fourteen, that's been the story.

And, honestly, it hasn't changed since then. Which I guess I sort of implied in my previous statement, but I digress.

As long as I can really remember, that's been my big deal. My greatest want, desire, hope, dream. And I think I may have found another piece of the puzzle.

To explain the vague picture I've got so far, I'll start with what I've already figured out, within a reasonable margin of certainty. Or something.

First, I really want companionship. I always have. My siblings have interchangeably been fabulous and awful, but it's not about them, it's about me. Which sounds selfish, but that's the way it is. It's not that I'm the only thing that matters, or that I don't see their problems and want them to improve, it's that I see mine a thousand times clearer.

Or so I hope.

Second, I want said companionship to be lasting. I'd like to say I want it to be infinite or eternal, but that's not possible in the way that I want. Grrr. I hate saying I want things, but I think this self-exploration is helpful. Thus, I want it to last. I want someone who'll be willing to listen to extremely long-winded moments, wherein I babble mindlessly for hours, and times when I don't feel like talking at all. And that turns out to be a lot of the time, actually. It's not that I'm regularly unhappy or reclusive, but I really like to observe and to think. Occasionally this thought is accompanied by pacing, sometimes by sitting, sometimes by stationary standing. Not always do I want to be alone, but there are times like that as well.

Third, and perhaps most potent, has been my desire for the intimacy that comes with a best friend/lover/spouse relationship. And, yeah, I don't really know what I'm talking about. I'm not married, and, besides my parents, I don't know people very well who are married. And, if you've ever had parents (perhaps not, for some), you'll understand that I could be one of the worst people to judge my parents, while simultaneously being one of the best to judge them.

So I want to get hitched, basically. I can't really remember a day when I didn't, which is sort of weird. I don't know if I've ever had the sort of young boy grossed out at married couples kissing or being together or loving each other or anything like that. But my memory is rather horrible for the far past.

I realize that not only isn't marriage the one-step fix for every problem I've got in my life, but also that it'll more likely solve few of my current problems and create for me a dozen or so more. I've found that, in life, the quick, easy fixes are the ones that aren't good in the long run.

Which, somehow or other, is no comment against marriage in general. Marriage as God intended is a fabulous, wonderful expression of God's love, both as metaphor and literally.

Now, let's get current. I was thinking about this and completely forgot what I was talking about, 'cause I wrote a dozen paragraphs nearly unrelated...gimme a second.

Oh, snort. Another point. I've always wanted a constant companion, someone who'll listen all the time, any time, who's kind, gentle, honest, patient. All the good stuff. And naturally there's Jesus. God. And I keep thinking to exactly is God supposed to be far, far, far more than enough for me, and I simultaneously desire, from the bottom of my heart (heck, from the top and sides as well) that I have a spouse, someone on this earth who's got similar qualities while still human and flawed.

I think this is the crux of my problem. I don't know how to put this deepest desire of my heart in its right place. And I've prayed, believe me. I realize that, somehow, I'm supposed to put God first in everything, especially in those things I feel most strongly about.

And, God, I feel strongly about Girl X.

(I've never been completely clear on when using God's name is in vain, and not in vain. Flaw 2.)

So what can I do? I feel like there are many easy ways out of this, and I've taken a number of them before. I've always been partial to the Tell All and Hope For the Best approach, but, honestly, it's failed me twice in the past.

And I guess there's always the problem that I feel deeply insufficient. I always compare my talents, skills, interests, and intellect to those of Girl X, but there's more to it than that, I think. That's just me feeling insecure and losing perspective like an overfilled tortilla drools salsa. That doesn't help.

But there's also the fact that I don't have more than Benjamin's two cheeks to rub together.

So. I'm insufficient, insecure, have my heart set on the wrong things, don't put God first in everything, and on top of it all, I'm still getting over that sort of shy phase. Or maybe I'm just quiet like that. I always feel like I don't speak enough, laugh enough, or answer loud enough. But that's another topic.

Ah, yes. I want to be proud of my heart.

You see, were I to alphabetize the Girls that have, whether sequentially or simultaneously, occupied my heart, I would be probably half through the alphabet by now. Which bodes horribly if I actually get to Girl X before I find the one.

You see, it's shameful to me that I'm so fickle in my desire. I want to love constantly and really and actually and truly and fully. And being an all-or-nothing kind of guy, either I didn't actually love Girls A through H (or whichever I'm currently can only imagine how I'd hate to keep track), or I don't love Girl X (X being current), because I've really felt this strongly about girls before today. I have. I've known girls better than Girl X (wayyyy better), I've been closer to girls before today. (somehow, though, I've managed to completely avoid ever actually having a girlfriend)

So I love and hope and dream and then pow, it's gone with one more beautiful face, wonderful person. Was that real? If it was, how can this be? If it wasn't, how can't this be?

And I haven't said this much. It takes a lot of time for me to figure me out, and I sorta just realize that the reason I'm ashamed about this sequence of potential partners is because I want to be proud of my heart.

I want to be proud of my heart.

And that makes sense. God made my heart, and my heart was made to constantly, absolutely, unreservedly love him. And I'm extremely bad at that.

But that brings me back to my biggest problem. Idolizing an idealized relationship rather than worshiping and serving God through everything I do.

My heart is hard.

This is going to be harder.

(I'd really appreciate prayer at this point. Thanks.)


March 13, 2012


So I be in Missouri. With a ton of awesomesauce peoples. They're currently playing a video game. Er, no, I mean card game. Heheheheh. But anyway.

I arrived a couple days ago and things have been pretty much uphill from there. I'm no recovered sinner or fixed fool or whatever, but I'm learning and changing a bit here and a bit there.

Hmmm. I felt like talking a lot more, somehow, before I went and read a few dozen pages of Dear Blank Please Blank, Taste of Awesome, and I Waste So Much Time.

Buuut, I think I can still do it. Here's the deal. Not a big deal, but a change in my understanding of the world, I guess. On the topic of hate.

Yeah. Nice way to introduce something, eh. I'm a genius that way. Regardless, it happens that I chatted rather lengthily with Chad (campus minister at the University of Minnesota). Things happened in that time that might not have happened otherwise. I postulated and spoke and conjectured and guessed, and we got somewhere.

Here are a few of the things we came up with:

First, hate isn't really absolute. That is, hate isn't a yes or no. It's not on or off, it's not yes for one thing and no for another. The current culture's view of hate can be described that way, though. Hate as Jesus uses the word isn't exactly the same. It's comparative, but so much more meaningful. When Jesus says hate (I'm specifically thinking of the instance with his mother/sister/brothers thing. You know the one. Or don't.), he means that by comparison to those he'd come to give his life for, his family could only be considered an afterthought.

It's hard to really get, I think, but it's a way of understanding it, I guess, given our rather limited knowledge and understanding of everything. Jesus helps us understand things through parables, for instance, and when he uses the word hate, I guess it could be called hyperbole. He's saying it larger than life, bigger than it really is, but, at the same time, and very importantly, absolutely truly. God never lies and if we listen to his word and separate it from our selfish, sinful understanding of the world, we will truly understand the things God wants us to, if not now, then soon, if not soon, then later.

The same really applies to love, except the opposite way. True love is absolutely unselfish. No part of true love can benefit the lover because that's what love is - self-sacrificial. Moreover, love isn't true unless it is, indeed, sacrificial. If a billionaire gives away a million dollars, it's no big deal. He/she's got tons of dough left. If, however, the same billionaire were to give away everything they owned, reducing their net worth to zero, they would be loveing (this, of course, assuming they directed the said funds in a manner that both didn't benefit them, but did benefit others.

Also, it's important to note that, in some degree, every human being on the planet does hate everything and everybody else in the world. This is a very wide-reaching and absolutist statement, but, again, hate by definition doesn't have to be absolute in degree, but merely do you call it. Preference? The direction in which the hate is directed. It's universal.

In an opposing manner, love is UN-universal, except for Jesus'. When we love someone, even when we give our lives for them, there is something in it for us, and that's what makes our love...insufficient, I guess you could say. Regardless of how hard we try (and perhaps because of how hard we try, actually), we can never love selflessly and utterly self-sacrificially. Only Jesus can do that.

So I guess when Jesus says we must hate our family (mother, brothers, etc), we're called instead to love others without prejudice or restraint, specifically in the instances when we can't get anything at all in return.

Which never really happens. At the very least, we feel good about ourselves and what we've done when we've loved someone.

Wow, that makes me feel sorry for Jesus.

I guess I'll sleepinate this computer before it dies and Gabriel consequently kills me.

G'night, weirdos.