Last Sunday, in the message, I spoke a little about romance. Now, I recognize, this is a little like me speaking about the Russian Blue Cat (which is a thing, I just looked it up) or the history of basket weaving in the Philippines, but nevertheless, I had a microphone and a room full of wonderfully kind friends who would listen, so…
I work awfully hard on these messages, and use pretty careful notes for my messages. I use these notes not because I’m unfamiliar with the material and need to know what to say next, otherwise, I’d be stuck in front without a thing to say. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I spend an overwhelming amount of time praying, studying, and crafting these weekly pieces – time I would more accurately define as worship, so I can enjoy sharing on Sunday, free of the stress of remembering my next line, open to any timely prompts that may come. These notes serve as boundaries, as a carefully manicured path confining me to a topic and time frame. If I stand with no notes, I fear we would have a Paul-in-Acts situation, where people would be falling (jumping?) out of windows after hours/days of discussion.
Anyway. I had intended to mention a perceived lack of romance in a scheduled word, task, or rendezvous. Just a quick mention transmogrified into a momentary diatribe, where I suggested that to schedule was THE most romantic thing we can do for each other.
Sunday afternoon and Monday mornings are usually reserved for focusing on others, what they may have shared with me, prayer concerns, and every now and again, diving deeper into the ideas we explored.
Did I really talk about romance?
Its mention came in a section of what to do when we don’t want to do anything (THIS is a subject I can speak about – I KNOW not wanting to.)
As I was thinking, I often don’t want to, often don’t feel like it, whatever ‘it’ is. I don’t want to take the trash out, do the dishes, work out, respond, fold the laundry, change the rabbit’s litter box, eat the vegetables, not eat the ice cream, fill the ice trays. And sometimes I don’t. But when I do them anyway, it’s for no other reason than love and service to the others in this house, and in my life.
Now that I think about it, I spend the time on my messages for the same reason – love and service to God, and those who offer the most costly thing we all possess, their time. To just ‘wing it,’ or ‘see where the Spirit leads’ (assuming the Spirit does no leading while alone in preparation) is unbelievably disrespectful.
Anyone can do the dishes when they’re in the mood, or if they love to do the dishes. Anyone can eat peas and Brussels sprouts if they like them. Anyone can hold your hand if they get something out of holding hands.
It’s when you don’t feel like it that is the wonder.
It’s when you love someone when you don’t feel it that is the real beauty.
When I clear my schedule, or choose to get off the couch and fold underwear, it is ONLY an expression of value and worth. An intentional act of selfless grace. Roses and candles is sometimes love, but for me, changing the litter box always is.