In case you were curious, or men, in case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is Sunday. So, if you forgot to make plans with your significant other, I hate to be a broken record, but you should get on that.
With Valentine’s Day so close to fruition, I am reminded that Love is a Journey. Okay, in the spirit of honesty, I was reminded this because of the show “How I Met Your Mother.” I should find a different hobby than watching shows on Netflix, lots of shows on Netflix. The premise of the show is simple: five friends find their way around the Big Apple living life and getting into all sorts of shenanigans and tomfoolery. The guys try to redefine “awesome” and the ladies, well, they attempt to hold onto the remaining fringes of their sanity. I almost forgot, the entire show is Ted Mosby, the main character, relating the tale of his twenties to his kids in the year 2030. Through the hilarity, I see many parallels to my own life, in my trying to redefine awesome. Okay, maybe that is a gas. One of the first episodes I watched (because I watched out of order), one of the group was in search for the perfect burger, and I entirely relate, as I relentlessly search for that delectable masterpiece of beef and cheese. I digress. The truth that paralleled my own life is that love is a journey, neither a short nor long one, and neither a dull one – it is the journey of our lives.
So many people think that there is a single person that the Creator designated them to marry. Besides the fact that there are infinitely many implications for the foundations of the world and our beliefs about God if that were true, focusing all our energies to find one person would distract us from the journey. Ted spends much of his energy in dating and trying to find this “one,” constantly peering at the sky for signs and wonders from the universe to confirm his wanting of a mate. While waiting for confirmation about a certain person can be wise, we must not be caught up in the romantics that we forget to live our lives, that we forget to write our story, that we neglect to spend our energies on the constant tasks we are given.
In the show, I am reminded how many twists and turns I took in my own life, and how they worked together for my good. Ted goes through some doozies before he meets “the mother.” Some of these are comical, some mildly inappropriate, and some fitting. But he points to one that made him ready to meet his “one.” She was a crazy broad. Upon their breakup, she destroyed his apartment, throwing his belongings from his apartment window, some of them flaming, down into the street below. After that moment, he knew he was ready to stop dating, and ready to prepare himself to find the love of his life. All of us have that someone. We have the name, the face, the experiences, the memories, all of which we claim is the relationship that made us want marriage and not another relationship. Not all romantic relationships are wasted, while some are. When we look back on that person, the way he or she treated us, how they made us smile, enjoy life, and as we furthermore remember the brokenness we felt afterward, we also remember what we did afterward to prepare for the “grown up” life. I worked on myself after the one that made me realize I was “ready.” Love is a journey, and my relationships remind me of that.
The time it takes to find the love we want takes, well, time. On “How I Met Your Mother,” it takes Ted 9 seasons, or 9 years, to finally find the woman he marries. When I look back 9 years, I remember I was 13 and I was a freshman in high school, and I remember how I “dated” as a freshman in high school. It was a disaster. A lot happens in 9 years. Our journey to find love may take time. It is bound to. I think what we must do is not focus on finding our love, but to live a life of love, giving to people, giving our life to others, and finding what makes us feel alive. God has granted us a minute span of time on this earth, should we spend it trying to find who we will spend our lives with, or what we will spend our entire lives doing?
Love is a journey. It takes time. Just as hiking across the US would take a person through winding roads, up and down mountains, and by rivers, so our lives ad romantic lives will be, or have been. So, this Valentine’s Day, spend it with people you love, enjoying life, and allow God to send you a person who is a good match, not simply the “one.” IT takes time and an interesting experience, because love is a journey.