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Finding The Love of Your Life

I never saw it coming.

 

Freshman year.

 

Concordia University, Irvine……Cafeteria.

 

It was one of those, “…then she walked in” kind of moments.

 

Because that’s literally what happened. She walked in. The most beautiful “she” I had ever seen in my life.

 

I don’t remember who I was talking with when it happened. All I knew is that they no longer mattered. In fact, nothing else in the world mattered. Not even the horchata making its way slowly down my chin.

 

All that mattered was the “She” that I could not take my eyes off. 




 

While the next few months were not a movie, there were times when it sure felt like one. I eventually did learn her name. And, to know her better, I tried to orchestrate as many “serendipitous” run-ins with her as I could. And over time my infatuation grew with every interaction. 

 

Spoiler Alert: We did not get married. We did date for a couple of years, and she certainly was the first “love of my life.” But it simply didn’t work out. And I’m now married to someone who teaches me every day what love (the real thing) looks like.

 

I’m sure you can relate to my story. I’m sure if I asked you about the first “love of your life,” a face would immediately appear in your mind and memories from your younger days with that person would come flooding back. Maybe you dated that person for a week. Maybe a month. Maybe a year. Maybe it ended horribly. Maybe they are still the person you wake up to every morning after 40 years. Maybe they were taken from you and you yearn for them to return, if even for a brief moment.

 

Or maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe you haven’t yet experienced being so enamored with someone that they consume your every thought.

 

Maybe you’re in a season where it’s happening to you right now, and you’re hoping this blog post will provide you with “10 tips on how to win over your crush.”

 

Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not the point. Here’s the point:

 

As I said, prior to she and I officially dating, she was all I could think about. I dreamed about what my life with her could look like. I fantasized about us holding hands, cuddling, kissing, whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears. I imagined us meeting each other’s families, going on vacations together, sharing a life.

 

Obsessive for a 19-year-old? Maybe.

 

Or you could put it this way: I had a strong vision for what it would look like to be in love with someone and for someone to be in love with me. I saw a person in front of me that had the potential to change my life forever. And I wanted that vision to become a reality more than anything. It was the kind of vision that kept me up at night and made it difficult to focus on anything else.

 

Now, I’ll remind you again that I was a full-time college student. This means that I was taking 40 units (a full load) with all the accompanying homework, tests, and papers. In addition to that, I was a theatre major, which meant most of my nights were devoted to rehearsing for whatever production I was in. I also had a part-time job working select nights at a gym. Not to mention my feeble attempt to have some semblance of a social life and…oh…sleep (not that a college student needs much of that).

 

The point is that my schedule was not exactly what you would call “light.” And it certainly wasn’t the kind of schedule that had any space in it for a budding romantic relationship.

 

But….let’s be real.

 

If that girl called me up out of the blue and said, “hey Andrew, I’ve been thinking about you lately, and my evening is free. Want to hang out?”…….

 

……………………………………………(Deer in headlights face)……………………………………………

Can you imagine, IN A MILLION YEARS, a world where I would not move Heaven and Earth to clear my schedule and make time for her? Can you imagine me saying something like, “Oh, ya know I’d love to, but I’m booked solid tonight. And to be honest, November in general is pretty crazy for me. Can we maybe circle back in the New Year?”

 

-------------------- ARE YOU NUTS???? -------------------- 

 

I would literally drop everything I was doing (in a cool, suave, non-desperate way, of course). I would make morally questionable decisions. I might fake sick at rehearsal. I might even walk out of my job mid-shift. Regardless, it didn’t matter how much I had on my plate, my vision of a potential life with this girl was stronger than my obligations. So, I would make it work (Gladly I might add). I would cancel every commitment, shirk every responsibility, and excitedly respond to her, “name the time and place, and I’m there.” 

 

VISION FUELS DESIRE

             

Vision always fuels our desires, for better or worse.

 

A strong vision will create a strong desire to see that vision fulfilled.

 

So for a hormonal college freshman, the vision of snuggling on the couch with an incredibly gorgeous woman….yeah that’ll do it.

 

When a personal trainer shares with you a vision of yourself 40 pounds lighter with lean muscle and boundless energy in just six months….that’s a pretty strong vision.

 

Jesus comes on the scene and one of the first things he says when he begins his ministry is, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” What he means is that God’s invisible realm where He rules and reigns is now open to anyone who chooses to step into it. And to actively decide to comply means that they will find their life.

 

That’s a strong vision.

 

But Jesus was both a visionary and a vision in himself. Check out Matthew 4:20:


When you read about Jesus’s disciples quitting their jobs to follow him, what do you make of that? For 21st century Americans, it seems completely insane and irresponsible that someone would give up their consistent paycheck just to follow Jesus.

 

But it might also seem insane and irresponsible for someone like me to walk out of a job just to go on a date with some girl.

 

 To which I would reply….”You weren’t there. You didn’t see the person that I saw. You would’ve done the same thing.”

 

So we must conclude that there was something so compelling and desirable about Jesus, both the person he was and the vision he cast, that it would cause fishermen with stable jobs to “immediately drop their nets and follow him.” We have to trust that Peter and Andrew, if they were here today, would respond to our criticisms with, “You weren’t there. You weren’t standing in front of the man we stood in front of. We saw the real deal. We saw God in the flesh. You would’ve done the same thing.”

             

VISION CREATES PERSPECTIVE

 

Not only will a strong vision propel us toward its fulfillment, but it will also create a healthy sense of perspective about all the less significant things in our lives. It will cause us to throw off anything that is standing in the way of our vision.

 

If rehearsal is standing in the way of me connecting with my crush, well then rehearsal is simply less important.

 

If donuts are getting in the way of my fitness goals, then the donuts must go.

 

Here is one of Jesus’s shortest descriptions of God’s Kingdom:

             

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”  ~Matthew 13:44

 

Notice how the man’s vision of the treasure is so strong that he GLADLY eliminates all that is hindering him from acquiring it.

 

Strong vision=strong desire

 

 If you have little desire to consider a life with God, then perhaps your vision of God is too small. If you have felt pressured, guilt-tripped, or simply uninspired to become a disciple of Jesus, then there is likely a good reason for it.

 

It could be that the Jesus you were presented with looked nothing like the Jesus that stood in front of Peter and Andrew. It could be that your local church’s vision of God’s Kingdom paled in comparison to Jesus’s.

 

But if Jesus, the real Jesus, is compelling enough to make ordinary fishermen quit their jobs and start a movement that would change the world as we know it, then the question must be asked: “Could the real Jesus be compelling enough for me to reconsider my priorities so that I could be around him all the time? Could the real Jesus be someone who knows me and loves me better than I know and love myself? Could the real Jesus help me with my anger, selfishness, anxiety, and trauma? Could the real Jesus be a treasure that I would gladly relinquish everything to acquire?”

 

So, what is the vision of Jesus that you’re being sold by the professing Christians around you? Is this a Jesus you would simply tolerate on Christmas and Easter, or a Jesus you crave more and more of? Is it a Jesus who offers you a transactional agreement, or a Jesus who offers you a transformational relationship?

 

Is it a Jesus who will wait for you after your death, or a Jesus who wants to be the love of your life?

 

 

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