It always hits me in the mornings. I cannot even count the number of times my cappuccino has grown cold as my pen dances across the page, or how many times I’ve scrambled to make it to work on time after being held spellbound by a scene that unfolds in my mind.
Every writer lives with a handful of characters that scream at her like pesky children – waking her up at night, interrupting her quiet times, and grabbing her by the shirt tail at the most inconvenient opportunities. But she cannot deny them for, unlike a child, they will not remember what it was that they wanted after an hour has passed. She must capture the moment when it comes or risk losing it forever.
But then I think… Shouldn’t every moment of my life be just like those inspired writing moments? Shouldn’t I embrace life with such intensity that I cannot imagine the passing of time as each scene plays out before my eyes?
Most days I rush through life, constantly glancing at the clock, counting the seconds until one event or another. I forget that life is not made up of great events, but of little moments. And each tick of the clock is a moment I’ve wasted being caught up in the busyness of life.
Oh, but for the heart of a child – to embrace each moment with such passion and wonder. To allow the simple things to stir my heart and bring a smile to my face. Oh, but that I would embrace each moment of my life with my writer’s passion. This is my reminder today to live the journey. Live.
The other night, I had the most romantic dance with the most amazing guy. I was alone in my room, the lighting was low, and the shadows on the wall reminded me of a song I had danced to long ago. My heart longed to return to that moment. So I did. I began gently swaying to the melody in my soul when I had one of those “Once Upon A Dream” moments. Suddenly, I realized that I was not alone. It was one of those moments when God’s Presence was so strongly evident that I could hardly breathe. And something about that Presence makes me want to dance. I went from swaying in His gentle embrace to spinning in the wonder of His love. And of all the dances I’ve ever shared with Jesus, this was without a doubt the most amazing, spiritual, romantic moment we have ever shared. By the time that dance ended, there were not two beings in that room, but One. Jesus and I had become One. I hope that doesn’t sound crazy to you.
I’m suddenly in this intensely passionate, romantic relationship with Jesus. Not that I wasn’t before, but every relationship has its high places and its low places, and I’m back in one of those high places right now. The flame in my heart has been rekindled as I came to this realization:
- Jesus and I are One.
- He arouses every sense I have (including a few I didn’t know about).
- We have “a song.”
- I can call on Him whenever I need Him.
- Not only does He know me, but He “gets” me. He understands the things no one else does.
God has filled every need I would naturally attempt to find in a relationship, and I think it was meant to be this way. I’ve heard single girls say that they are sick of hearing people say that Jesus is a substitute for a husband, and I can emphasize with that. The married women all get to be The Bride of Christ too, so the whole “Jesus replacement” thing just isn’t cutting it. But I’m more tired of hearing that statement put the other way around. I’m tired of seeing people turn their husband, or boyfriend, or “significant other” into a substitute for a relationship with Jesus. Maybe it’s not that people are trying to cram God into your “guy-hole,” but that you are trying to cram a guy into your “God-hole.”
I recently read a Christian dating book in which the author stated, “I’m tired of ‘dating Jesus’ …and I think the feeling is mutual.” I cringed. I understood the point she was trying to make. It was the whole “Jesus is not a substitute for a man” argument all over again. But I don’t think Jesus gets tired of “dating” you. The Bible tells us over and over again that God is a jealous God. Why would He ever tire of spending time with you? And while it’s okay to want a “real” date every once in awhile, don’t let it consume you. A man will never be able to fill both your guy-hole and your God-hole. But God… Well, He’s big enough to handle both of them. So lose yourself in the magic and wonder of His dance.
So, here’s my main problem with the Little Mermaid: She gave up everything to pursue one thing. And she failed. But of course Disney never told it that way because, heaven forbid we fail. We can’t tell a story where the ending is not what the heroine expected. Surely her dreams could not have been wrong.
Personally, I tend to favor Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic version. Happily-ever-afters are great, but I think we sometimes need a little bit of reality sprinkled into the situation. We’re human. We fail. And things don’t always turn out the way we might have imagined in this fallen, broken world.
While love is sacrifice, I think we sometimes sacrifice too much. Some things were never intended to be sacrificed. Your dreams were not meant for someone else to fulfill. If your “prince” requires you to sacrifice the passions of your heart, I’m not convinced he is truly the man God has for you. Yet we women are all too willing to give everything we have within us if we can only secure the love of an earthly prince. News flash: you already have the love of a heavenly One.
There is something to be said for sacrifice and compromise. They’re necessary at times. My grandma wanted four kids, my grandpa wanted six. They ended up with the grand total of five. Compromise. Sometimes it is necessary, but other times it is extremely harmful. Don’t give up the big dreams in order to chase after the little ones. I’ll leave you with this final thought from Robert Cornuke and Alton Gansky’s book, The Bell Messenger:
Old men die, that’s what they do. They eventually die from withering bodies, but they also die from dreams that never come true.