He or She Won’t Bring Instant Happiness

I’ve got to know if your sweet love is gonna save me. — The Eagles

I grew up relationship challenged. My parents were not good at relationships. They passed that trait along to their four sons.

But even I grew up dreaming that a girl (any girl) would save me–that is bring me happiness, endless bliss, solve all my problems.

While at university I stumbled across the writing of Rollo May. Love and Will was the first of several I read.  He discusses that situation. Even before I really knew about relationships (even though I was probably 19 or 20), I absorbed much wisdom from the book.

He traced back to classical and ancient times where men had those same thoughts.

But, wait a second ladies. Isn’t it true that most (or all?) women dream that marriage will bring them all the pieces of salvation? Stability, feelings of worthiness, security, someone to listen to their feelings expressed?

Well I’ll tell you. I stood on that corner in Winslow, Arizona. There was no girl in a flat-bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me. Or any other vehicle, for that matter.

No, all those feelings of safety, security, relationship, stability, they all stem from a developing relationship with God. Human relationships are messy. We misunderstand each other. We misinterpret each others’ comments or gestures. We expect one thing and get another.

We have to bring our own stability into the relationship for mutual benefit.

And how do we find, nurture, and maintain our relationship with God? Through our spiritual practices. Study. Prayer. Service. Worship. Humans have known for millennia about these practices. Yet, each one of us must learn the lesson anew.

[Oh, and sorry for my eclectic musical references. I know some people listen to only one genre. Most American readers of these musings probably listen only to “Christian” music. As for me, the only music I don’t listen to is modern country (the Nashville sound–earlier is good) and hip-hop. Just a matter of taste. The purpose of music is to  share feelings. You can find it in folk, classical, pop, rock, sacred, whatever.]

2 Responses to “He or She Won’t Bring Instant Happiness”

  1. Emily Wilson Says:

    First, I love your musical references! This column is one of your best!! You are right about everything you have written. Thank you.

    • Gary Mintchell Says:

      Thanks, Emily. I appreciate the note. Wish I knew more about Prince, though. Everyone around seems to know him, but I know nothing of his music. So, I can’t quote him. I actually wrote the post from the Lufthansa Club in Frankfurt after an 8-hour flight to Germany. And Tuesday’s. Maybe when I am more tired, I am less intellectual?? Now I have to find something to stir up your emotions. Can’t have someone always agree with me, can I? Have a good week.

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