Aahhh yes…Valentine’s Day. It’s that time of year again that makes both singles and even contentedly married couples feel inadequate. North American culture instills the idiocy that finding your ideal soul-mate is the be-all, end-all which sails us into happily-ever-after. Not surprising so many of us crash on the shoals of divorce and disillusionment! True love is challenging enough, but sustaining high-falutin’ romance is nearly impossible.
Actually, this may be because we’ve turned the ideal into something it was never meant to be. In medieval times, romance was the epic story of a heroic champion, selflessly saving the kingdom from the forces of evil while rescuing the damsel in distress. Chivalry was magnified through honorable actions; an earthly manifestation of divine love. Now, it seems, we’ve short-circuited the equation of morality, and love itself has become the hero to be worshipped, regardless of how much virtue, righteousness or dignity is attached to its actions.
The conundrum we face is that our potential for romance is much larger than simple erotic or romantic connection. Love is desired, but romance is expansive and demanding. The great love affair of life requires adventure, contest, jeopardy and journey into the unknown which tests our boundaries and resets them. The huge potential for growth we carry makes our lives a constant search for the next frontier. We were born for big, big things, so we must have unrelenting stimulation. Risk and reward are meat and drink to the soul. Although we also crave security, it must be balanced against the unpredictable and even, uncontrollable! Wits and courage, skill and strength are pitted against the elements for heroic gratification. In our heart of hearts, this is true romance.
Amazingly, the Lord has every intention of fulfilling our longing for high drama. He’s totally in on the great adventure; the only catch being His right to be our first love in the passionate quest.
I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord. Hosea 2:19-20
It’s never been His intent to withhold us from the desired, frolicking, high-voltage things in life. Unfortunately, what we don’t understand is that the attainment of satisfaction is much too dangerous a horizon to navigate without someone far savvier to lead us. We need a hero, and His name is Jesus! Romance, without the great Lover of our Souls at the centre of it, is a foolhardy pursuit which cannot be traversed without self-destruction or serious collateral damage.
You want escapades and grand undertakings? Exploits and exciting voyages? You want romance? Go back to your first love. Christ is not only the path to salvation, He’s the thrilling mentor in an expedition often perilous, death-defying and unrelentingly difficult. Realizing your full potential is about trusting Adonai to lead the way. Risk it all on the most intense lover you’ll ever know.
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:12-14
A passionate, focused, fulfilled life is the high romance we were created for. In our visceral, unspoken hunt for it, we tend put all our eggs in the basket of family, work or marriage, and then wonder why it leaves us cold. Even a solid, reciprocal love affair doesn't quite fill the void. We need more. We are beings of spirit, so our real adventure both begins and ends in that realm. Without it, all our joys, and even triumphs, are merely temporary.
I’m probably not alone in feeling like romance is a million miles away. It’s tough to find high adventure in lockdown, where the steepest exploit of the day is just keeping yourself in good spirits. I’m longing for high mountain peaks with exciting vistas. Let’s shoot the rapids of a spanking new challenge. Slay some old, lurking enemy. Time to take new territory and damn the torpedo’s. Oh, and if somewhere in the procedure there’s a tall, god-fearing single silver fox to lend a hand, I won't quibble!
Gallop apace, ye fiery steeds!
I will go before you and make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:2-3
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