Maybe I’m starting to get the hang of this whole “life” thing. Coincidentally or perhaps by virtue of the fact that I am finally beginning to discover true selflessness as well as the fact that I have virtually eliminated young single women from my life, I have established a period of emotional constancy that seems to be unprecedented in my life.
I have nothing against women, but the facts are the facts, the birds and the bees and the sycamore trees, and it took me years of wrecking hearts and having mine wrecked to acknowledge them: marrying-age Christian single men cannot regularly hang out with young single women and feign disinterested platonic friendship and be happy. Sooner or later attractions develop and hearts are broken. It is unnatural to thoroughly mix the sexes and expect nothing but platonic feelings of brotherly and sisterly friendship to arise. There is always that One in the circle that stands out above the rest and – right or wrong, usually wrong – captures the heart of another. The love grows hopeful, yet unrequited until feelings boil over to a point that false hope is more torturous than the truth, so the truth must be pressed; clarity must be awkwardly achieved through the infamous DTR (Define The Relationship) talk. These never begin or end well. If there is a need for a DTR, then the love must be unrequited; otherwise it would be obvious to both that feelings are mutual. But this is logical, and love does not follow logic. The DTR should never logically happen, but it does because the unfortunate sufferer of the unrequited love cannot force reason to overcome feelings; therefore, an explicit confession of rejection must be forced out of the object of unrequited love to behead the demon of false hope. At any rate, I have not had any young single women in my life as close friends or otherwise for quite a while now, and as a result I am blissfully free of mush-induced emotional gobbledygook. It is far easier to be happy as a single man when not surrounded by women. If you are fasting, don’t hang out at Burger King.
The vacuum of thought-space left by the evacuated demons of female drama, I have filled with new thoughts incredibly non-self related. I have realized that even at our most unselfish, we are still very selfish. A simple calculation of the percentage of free thought time one devotes to self versus others can reveal this. For whatever reason, the percentage of my spare thought time that is devoted to contemplating the needs of others and alleviating their suffering has been going up and up. Perhaps it is my disability continuing to work death in my selfish nature: the daily suffering and evidence of my own mortality impressing me with an urgency to leave a legacy and to prepare for the next life. Perhaps it is the increasing time I am spending with my Creator and contemplating His will. Perhaps it is the dreams I have had of others and the Spirit’s burdening me to pray for them. I realize that in many ways I have neglected the “one another” commands from our Lord, Jesus. “There is no greater love than for a man to give his life for another.” We don’t have to die to give our lives for another. It is as well to live for others as to die for others. I have felt a heavier burden now than ever before to go to war on my knees for friends and family.
I feel a steady sadness and a steady joy shining through it – a steady hope and a steady vision. There is a unique beauty to redeemed ugliness and intrigue in simplified complexity. I feel an ignorance of the future but a confidence that no matter what it holds, it can only be a greater or lesser degree of suffering or blessing that I have already experienced. Before one can truly live, one must come to terms with death. I have lived a full life, and this is life: a testing ground, a place of conception, a place of illusive happiness, a place of suffering through which the soul is shaped into either eternal glory or eternal shame. My greatest hope is realized in death and my greatest fear is a life wasted in selfishness and a soul blighted with the weakness of cowardice and unrestrained desire. Life is a breath – a flower that wilts in the midday sun – here today and gone tomorrow. If death comes tomorrow, I welcome it confident in a life well-lived. If death comes 100 years from now, I will persevere on towards greater glory. 🙂