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Saturday, August 2, 2014

When I was in Seminary there was a heated, nerdy argument I listened to for ten whole semesters that ran around in circles like two presidential candidates debating personal freedoms.  The source of this controversy had to do with whether or not there was such a concept as "predestination" for a person's life or if it was all based upon daily actions and interactions.  As I said, this went on, and on, and on, and was still going on when they kicked me out of seminary, so I'm willing to bet nothing has changed to this day.

After paying more attention to people outside of church culture and moving out on my own, I came to the conclusion that just as those who did not believe in predestination within the walls of my school were the minority, the same spoke true of everyone I met on the outside as well.

In the summer of 2009, I went to a Braves game with about a dozen people.  Half of these people had been friends of mine for a few years and the others were people I hadn't met prior - one of them being the girl I was sitting beside.  She and I talked the whole time and I found out she was in college at Georgia State, but had recently lost her job and was desperately looking for something new.  We exchanged information, hung out a few times after the game, and I ended up getting her a job at the country club where I worked.  There, she quickly became friends with my co-workers, became interested in one of them romantically, moved into his house (which is next door to mine) and five years later they are getting married about a month from the day I am writing this blog.

Now, I could run around telling people I introduced them and that it was some sort of predetermined stroke of universal or spiritual collision that brought the two of them together, but I don't.  Thinking back to that Braves game in 2009, I could have made a choice not to talk to her beyond that day and doing so would not have made any difference to me in the moment.  Actually, my friend who was sitting on the other side of me was interested in her at the time and I thought about moving over so he could sit next to her more than once.  Had I not stayed in contact with her beyond that day, she wouldn't have met her fiancee because there was honestly no other way they would have crossed paths otherwise.  Different cities, different interests, different faiths - us meeting on that summer day was the only bridge to them ever being connected.  It worked out and I'm happy for them.  However, I don't think the universe would have stopped and puppies would have drowned en masse in the sea if they hadn't met.  Their lives would just be very different than they are now and actually, so would mine.

I'm being a stick in the mud though and also being a complete killjoy about the lot of this idea, I know, but I am a realist.  The truth is that we want the romanticized idea of everything coming into perfect and complete alignment for the greater good of the world because that makes everything cute and interesting.  
It makes us go out looking for our destiny and expecting to find it.
It sets us up for disappointment.

Most people are looking for the Nicholas Sparks experience of true love and a romantic and longed for kiss in a thunderstorm, but we look so hard for the event that we overlook the entire journey.
I say this because I see people who continue to date those they are incompatible with because of one or two "redeeming" qualities which makes them overlook the more important inconsistencies of their character.  I'm not even thirty years old and can count a divorced couple of my age or younger I know personally on every one of my fingers.  The thing they all share in common?
They romanticized the "good" in their relationship to such a level that they ignored the more significantly skewed parts which had no staying or building power.
People who:
-Settled because their families convinced them it was right.
-Settled because their friends convinced them it was right.
-Settled because they thought they could do no better.
-Settled because of their age.
-Settled because they wanted kids.
And they have all fallen apart as I have watched.

Now, why the heck did I write this?
Well, the world of relationships is really messy and we're all making it worse because we over think everything.  A few years ago, I learned that making assumptions about people or situations generally doesn't work out well.  Especially when you make assumptions while blinded by romance within a relationship.  We spend too much time focusing on the big moments than we do just living the everyday experience and paying attention to what is happening around us.  It's why everyone is getting divorced, why everyone gets into an abusive relationship at some point, why everyone seems to settle, and why everyone overlooks what they should actually be looking out for.

All I am saying is that one little action you take at some point...
One person you decide to talk to...
Or don't...
One missed chance to smile at someone could change your life entirely as long as you don't overlook the smaller moments.

As long as you stop counting any moment as insignificant...

Grace and Peace,



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