Being away from Jaime for a few days (as I attended the Orange Conference) only served to remind me of how much I love her. I'm not sure if it was the summer-like weather or the college-like atmosphere of the conference, but it led me back to the days when we were "courting" one another. Wow, it's been 11 years, but I remember that time so well. I would intentionally bump into her as she studied on campus. I would skip class to spend more time with her. I would think about her all the time. Being in love with her changed everything. Francis Chan, in his book, Crazy Love, says:
When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You'll drive for hours to be together, even if it's only for a short while. You don't mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You'll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you're crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it's painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at the chance to be together.
Most of us have experienced a love like this. I'm not talking about an emotional and superficial love that fades away. I'm talking about a radical and real kind of love that remains. A love that I have for my wife, and a love I have for my Savior. But I'll be honest. This kind of "crazy love" for Jesus and for Jaime isn't always there. (And yes I know that my love for Jesus is different than my love for Jaime! And I know that marriage isn't some romantic vacation from reality). Still, I resonate with what Revelation 2:4 says about "forgetting your first love." At times, I can feel that way ... like I've forgotten my first love. I start rewinding back to my college years to remind myself of my love for Christ. Sometimes I wonder what happened to the passion and boldness I had for Jesus back then. As a new believer I didn't think about living for Jesus, I just did it because I loved him more than anything. And I loved people like crazy. So what happened?
Francis Chan recently shared about his own experience (@ the Orange Conf.) and I can relate. He talks about how (over time) people convinced him to calm down and just mellow out. It was like his church was patting him on the back and telling him, "Chill out, you can't change the world, brother." But all Francis could think about was how his life was not radical at all. He was just seeking to live what the Bible said.
I want to remember my first love. I want to live what the Bible says ... even if others think I'm a freak. But I also want to remember that being in love looks different at different seasons of life. I don't have to go back to college to fall in love with Jaime again. In fact, I love her more now than ever, even in the midst of raising three kids and all the craziness that comes with it. And I'm growing in my love for God, even in the dry times (or especially in the dry times) when all I have is him.
Love is a strange thing. It's hard to wrap your arms around it. But it changes everything, doesn't it?