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Uninhibited Reflections on Unrequited Love

November 7th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 8: 17 (NLT)

17 “I love all who love me.
      Those who search will surely find me.”


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Love.  Makes us crazy.  Makes the world go round.  Makes our stomach churn.  Makes us angry.  Makes us blind.  

There are many cultural colloquialisms concerning the issue of love, but no single expression, no matter how witty, can capture it’s full description.  Much of my life is counseling, encouraging, and warning people about the wonders and dangers of love.  Most of them sit in my office or sit in the chair in the audience and shake their heads in agreement.  I mean, for a moment, I actually think that I may be a convincing speaker. Hey, maybe I’m making sense.  Come on, it’s not rocket science?

Or is it?

I ask that because one event always changes the playing field: an individual’s own experience with love. Yeah, all that stuff that makes sense on paper.  Restraint.  Guarding your emotions.  Taking it slowly.  Yada yada yada.  Yeah, we love that stuff in theory.  But then, the very person who exhibited such logic . . . such heartfelt agreement with every wise word that I just spoke . . . comes flying into my office– scratch that– floating into my office on cloud ninety.  “Hey,” I say innocently, “what’s different about you?  You got a stomach virus or something?”

“I’m in love!”  The words barely beat the beaming expressions and cartoon butterflies that suddenly flutter around the room.  Love.  Yeah, it changes everything.

Ah, sitting here on the high horse gives one quite the view.  But alas, I too know the sting of love’s mysterious potion.  Logic.  Restraint.  Yeah, I know what’s it like to suddenly turn completely insane because of the emotional effect that “love” can cause.  The butterflies eventually move from encircling your head down to the pit of your stomach where you feel the strange and frightening sensation that you might hurl at any moment . . . but it’s a good kind of regurgitation . . . love vomit.  From that point on, the logic that you once knew so well is seemingly tapping on a window from somewhere outside the new house that you live in . . . a love house.  Your friends, who for most people are the most important source of information, suddenly mean very little to you compared to the one you now love.  

Note to the reader: I am not endorsing the idea that one is not capable of controlling themselves or is released from responsibility for their actions when they’ve seemingly become intoxicated by love.  I am only attempting to establish the context that love makes us feel, act, think, respond, and speak differently.  Give me some credit, will ya?

All that being said, I turn my thoughts to another direction that resides near this concept.  It’s something that if you haven’t already experienced, there may be a good chance that it’s coming.  It happens when you feel overtaken and overwhelmed by all of those incredibly strong emotions for that special someone and then whamo . . . the object of your affections either doesn’t return your sentiments . . . or even worse, they stomp up and down on your heart like a pogo stick– ripping your life from the recesses of your soul and carving you up like a juicy Thanksgiving turkey.  Yeah, do you get the impression that I’ve felt this particular set of emotions before?

This is what authors, poets, and songwriters refer to as “unrequited love.”  Love that is unreturned or rejected.  Gut-wrenching and humiliating.  A blow to the emotional stomach.  Lemon juice poured mercilessly upon the paper cut of your vulnerability.  

You see, the purpose of my advice and logic to all those who will listen isn’t just because I like hearing myself talk (believe me, I’m no radio DJ); no, it’s to help someone out there avoid unnecessary emotional torture . . . or often worse.  It’s to help you position this most delicate of treasures in the safety of God’s gallery instead of trusting it to random chance.

But honestly, discussing the dangers of romance is not really my goal . . . I’ve just been setting you up for this.  As much as unrequited love stabs like a knife to the kneecap, a love that is reciprocated in like manner and in like faith is one of God’s greatest gifts.  But this sort of relationship doesn’t just apply to people . . . no, Wisdom once again is letting us in on the secrets of finding out who she is and what it takes to get to know her.

You see, Wisdom doesn’t mess around with unrequited love.  Just listen to what she says in this verse, “I love all who love me.  Those who search will surely find me.”  In other words, Wisdom is never the aggressor; she always waits for your initiation.  Makes sense.  Funny how no one in the world ever just “stumbles” into being a very wise person without searching for it.  On the other hand, people stumble into stupidity all the time.  Know why this is?  Because Wisdom only loves back those who love her first.  Simply put, she’s ain’t about to get played by no one (deliberate slang and poor grammar used here for effect . . . homie).  

It’s an easy concept, really.  If you want wisdom, you’ve got to search for it.  You’ve got to pursue it.  Learn. Listen.  Read.  Ask.  Seek.  Knock.  Any of this sound familiar?  Yeah, Wisdom’s not interested in any shallow relationships and you can bet your bottom dollar that those are aren’t interested in meeting her never will.

But the good news is that as much as Wisdom will never experience unrequited love, neither will we when we “search” for her.  As this passage says, we will find her.  But just like love, the pursuit is part of the fun. Gaining Godly wisdom shouldn’t feel like a chore that we have to accomplish each day.  No, it should feel like a relationship because . . . well . . . that’s what it is.  Absorbing wisdom is a byproduct of getting to know the Author of wisdom.  Who else is more qualified to make the introduction?

So take a chance on loving . . . wisdom, that is; she’ll always love you right back.  Can’t guarantee the same for some of the other characters out there that many of you will consider getting to know.  Hey, maybe if we get to know Wisdom first, she can knock some sense into us before we take a ride down to Loserville.

Sorry, couldn’t resist. 




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