Every December 31st TV specials highlight the past year's top everything. Top viral videos, top songs, top scandles, top fashion flops and top fashion successes. They list the words we all hope go away in the new year and talk about the people we hope aren't splashed across our screens for another 365 days. And then, as the program comes to a close, the hosts and guests always discuss their personal resolutions for the new year.
The lists are usually quite typical: spend more time with family, get organized, eat healthier, shed a few extra pounds, save more money.
Some resolutions are bit more gutsy - one in particular. According to a study published by the University of Scranton, the top ten resolutions include number nine: fall in love.
For those making resolution number nine I must give them credit for optimism. They must truly believe that they can will themselves into finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. Then they must will themselves into falling head over heels in love with that person. Now, if that love is reciprocated is another matter. Does this resolution have an unspoken understanding attached that resolves to also make their love interest fall in love with them in return?
The whole concept seems a bit misguided if you ask me. This resolution assumes that finding love is a matter of want to. But falling in love isn't a matter of making the decision to fall in love in a certain time frame and then going out and finding a mate to fit the bill. Love doesn't come that way. This isn't like buying a product on Amazon and choosing the shipping method. "I'd like love and I'd like it on expediant, two-day shipping." Click, click.
No, that isn't the way falling in love works.
To truly "fall" in love - which is a terrible term but for the sake of sticking to the study we'll go with it - God must bring two hearts into union. Our prayers can give God our desire to find love and share love but He chooses whether or not to fulfill the desire and He chooses the shipping method.
The longing of the heart to find companionship is a natural desire. Adam was given Eve. God thought it was right for the two to have each other and help each other. Two were better than one. Notice that Adam didn't receive Eve because he told God, "Hey, I think I could use some help down here. I'd like a person to be with me and I'd like to find them appealing. Thanks. Oh, and if you could do this before you're done with the whole creation week that'd be great."
No, that is not how Adam recieved Eve. Instead, it was God who looked at Adam and saw that he could use a companion.
Look at Genesis 2:20. God alone is the orchestrator of the union of man and woman.
"But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."
Isn't this amazing? Adam wasn't even awake and aware that this love was being created for him. He didn't have to send in an order or make a resolution. God saw the need and He filled it in His great power.
Resolutions can be wonderful for getting healthy and making changes for self-improvement. But falling in love isn't our resolution to make. God can cause love to find us and flourish if that His will. If we, as His devoted and obediant children, seek to live squarly within that will then we won't be trying to force falling in love. Instead, we will be nurtiring the love we have with our Savior, trusting that mutual human affection and love will come from His hand, in His time.
This year, I will not resolve to fall in love with a mere man. Instead, I am resolving to rest more soundly and peacefully in the comfort of my First Love. It is in His arms that I find the greatest companionship and devotion. It is in His arms that I am truly cared for. If someday He sees it fit to give a helper, then I will embrace this new love through the outpouring of the love I have from my Savior's indwelling in me.
First we must fall in love with Jesus Christ, the one who bestows on us perfect love. It is in becoming united with Him that we learn the true meaning of love. Once we are overcome with His love, the need for human love diminishes. It is replaced with an overflowing of His love and grace satisfying and filling our hearts.
Christ's love is open and available to all who ask. It is ready and available. Jesus has already poured it out for us on the cross. This year and every year is the right year, the right day and the right moment to fall in love with Him. It is a resolution worth making and more importantly, worth keeping.