Is LOVE all vanity?

I have been wandering quite a bit lately.  And to be honest, wandering while self-focused.  With all the Valentine’s day activity and with the extra desire for love that has come with my 26th year, I’ve gotten a little carried away.

And tonight I had a thought about Solomon.  How is it that such a wise man, with a heart so passionate that God would use his love story as an allegory of his love for the church, would say ‘everything that is done under the sun is vanity and a striving after the wind?’ Was his pursuit of the woman he writes about in Song of Songs all vanity?  Was all the good he accomplished as king pointless?

In focusing on myself so much, I have seen things around me become meaningless.  And even in my desires to meet someone and start a different season of life, I realize that I have been living in vanity, futility, emptiness.  How depressing!  No wonder I struggle with contentment.

If I could get my eyes off myself long enough, I might actually feel some purpose and the devil’s cover would be blown.  If he can keep me distracted with myself, how can I have time to pray for, serve and focus on others?

I think that maybe Solomon wasn’t satisfied at the end of his life because it had become so much more about himself rather than others.  Mike Paschall wrote a great blog for today (the day after V-day) about sowing love rather than just being bummed about not being in a romantic relationship.

I am thinking that this is the key.

Not learning how to flirt, or being proactive about singleness, or signing up for Grouper.  But sowing love into others.  Taking the focus off of myself and choosing to listen for whatever God has for me today.

Yes, I desperately want to go on a date.  And I would love for someone to be interested in me and find me fascinating…who wouldn’t?  But I also think that I am not going to focus on that too much and rather meet new people for the sake of sowing love and service into those around me.

Or at least I’m going try…we’ll see how it goes.

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Whatever it takes

One of the common themes of my life, and that I could preach about 100 times and it would never get old, is the theme of VIRTUE.  And the journey that I have had to always become more and more of a woman of virtue.

Two years ago, I started writing down the type of woman I wanted to be.  I made decisions.  I would articulate what was most important to me and I determined within myself to do whatever it would take to live by these virtues at all costs.

Last week, I was thinking about this again. And it felt like my old list of virtues were somewhat distant and outdated. It felt like what I had decided two years ago had become so much a part of me, that I almost forgot how to be daily aware of these things.  So I made a new list.  It probably has the same heartbeat as my old list, but with fresh revelation and reminder to what I value.

 

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Literally the next day after I wrote this list, I was presented with the opportunity to live it out. Particularly, number four: I want to NOT be afraid to give feedback to those closest to me. (which was probably more about receiving feedback from those closest to me)

God began stirring some things up in my spirit at a Bible study and while I had no idea what was going on inside of me, it led to some incredible breakthrough with one of my closest friends.  My sporadic verbal processing caused us to be honest and real with each other.  We sat in the parking lot of our apartment for about 30 minutes talking, crying (just me), and praying.

We gave each other the permission to say what we really see.  We allowed room for much needed perspective so that we could reach depths of friendship rather than living in shallow proximity. You can live with someone and do life with someone, without ever letting them see you.  And what a loss that would be.

And so I am an advocate for everyone to know what is important to them, and to make a decision to live those things out.  But be prepared for it to come to you in an unexpected, possibly messy, unorthodox way. I will be so bold as to say that it will be worth it.

So that at the end of your life, that which matters most to you will be what people remember.