Sunday, November 10, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  He had to work in Austin, so I drove to meet him.  We spent 24 kid-free hours just being.  We ate, drove around his old stomping grounds, walked around what used to be Lake Travis, ate some more, and enjoyed the pauses in between.  We had grand visions of staying up late, listening to live music, and walking around downtown, but happily pursued Plan B of retiring early after filling our bellies at The County Line.  As we grow old together, we're learning that we're happiest when we don't have anywhere to be.

Our time together was much-needed and overdue.  We've been like two ships passing in the night for longer than anyone would recommend.  No surprise, really with work, little boys, and all of the other things that overtake our calendar.  But, the marriage fleet needs to dock once in a while, to remember why we're working together in the first place, dust off the vision, and re-energize about future voyages.

I think I could live off of this past 24-hours for another couple of weeks (but, please don't tell my husband).  If you've read the Five Love Languages, I'm a "quality timer", so my love tank is Full.  Ahhhhhhh.

On our way back home, I was thinking about love and marriage, and what that looks like when we get to Heaven.  Today's Gospel (Lk 20:27-38) says "those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.  They can no longer die, for they are like angels: and they are the children of God because they are ones who will rise."

I don't really like the way this sounds, because it seems like marriage only has temporary value.  Temporary value is well and good, but it seems like it falls dramatically short of what God intended and like we dreamed the idea up for ourselves.  A lifetime of monogamy and child-rearing?  Really?  This afternoon, I sat down with my head full of questions and uncertainty about reality and what's important in it.  I tried to journal, but only wrote one sentence and picked up The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin, instead.  On page 57 it reads:

The union with and love of God that begin in this life and grow as the spiritual journey progresses will be gloriously manifested and perfected in heaven.  But so also will the union and love that we have had with one another in this life be gloriously manifested and perfected in heaven.  The Father tells Catherine (of Siena) that the particular relationships we had on earth, insofar as they were in the Lord, will actually increase in depth of intimacy and love in heaven.  Friendships and marriages that were lived in and with Jesus will be "saved" and indeed prove to be a love that is truly "forever".  The time for biological procreation will have come to an end-our bodies now transformed in glory, made ready for an eternity of celebration-but, the love, in Christ, that was built up in true Christian relationships will last forever.  We will not only know and recognize one another in heaven, but know and love each other even more!

That's better. 

So, we're not still "married" in heaven, but the love is still there.  Our spouses and children don't suddenly become strangers.  Thank goodness!  Can you imagine?!  We love them even more, and everyone else besides.  Love is great here, but it is not perfect.  It is perfected in heaven.  It is no wonder I can't understand it.  It is beyond me.  But, that's why I'm here.  And that's probably why you're here, too.  We're here to practice loving.  Because practice makes perfect.

Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you for my husband of 11 years and for the first day of our 12th year of marriage.  Thank you for time away to remember why we got married in the first place.  Thank you for the blessings of our children and the protection you offer a wife and mother, by the very nature of her life.  Please bless all who are married.  Purify and perfect our love.  Give us the grace to put ourselves second, so that we may imitate Your Son, who asked "What is the most I can do to prove My love?"  Thank You for All.  I Love You.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment