April 5, 2010

Ya gotta wonder

(*WARNING* more meanderings from the heart)

Don't you wonder what people are thinking sometimes? I do. Puzzling behavior makes me wonder what their motivation might be. Sometimes it makes me doubt myself or doubt them. Doubt is not a healthy emotion. It eats away inside us and we act in ways that we wouldn't normally act because we are no longer operating within the sphere of rational behavior. What appears, to me, to be common sense often elludes some folks making allowing them to say or do things that are detrimental to their goals and/or desires.
Do they mean what they say or are they just saying one thing and doing another? Can I trust them to say/do the same thing when they are with other people that they say/do (or don't do) when they're around me? Are their actions consistant with their goals?
This is especially important in relationships that matter. Or will matter. Ones that will last us a lifetime. Parent/child, husband/wife, sinner/savior. There are a lot of ways to show others that we care about them and that they can trust us. Taking responsibility for our actions, having consideration for their feelings, and after God, putting them first (or depending on the type of relationship, at least on a higher level than we place ourselves) are ways to do that. These things can play out in a lot of different ways but no matter where we've grown up or how we've been raised, for the most part, people value and understand the same basic principles of relationships.
In light of these thoughts, folks sometimes puzzle me. A lot.

Along the same lines as my thoughts about people who make things happen and people who wait for things to happen to them or for them, I wonder if the latter group, remember that I sometimes fall in this one, are just lacking the passion required to go after what we want? Do we want it but only if it happens that way? Meaning that we like the idea and would be happy if things worked out the way we want them to but we'll be happy with whatever happens either way. Is this to be confused with contentment? I don't think so. How about complacency? Can we afford to be complacent? Or do we really want it bad enough to take action? Obviously, I'm not talking about things that are sinful, just things that might require some heartfelt action on our part.

What is passion? According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, it can be anger or love or anywhere inbetween that initiates a strong desire/emotion. So what about emotions? They play a huge part in our lives. It's not easy to moderate our emotions to keep them from running away with us. How do we make the distinction between powerful emotions that are godly and ones that are not? Jesus expressed, among many, anger, sadness, kindness and love. I often think that it's not the emotions that get us into trouble but what we do with them. And by the same token, what we don't do with them. It all comes down to responsibility. Again.

Are passion and devotion the same thing? No but both play an equal part in special types of relationships. There are different types of devotion just like different types of passion. Where is the boundary between an idolizing devotion and the type of adoration that some relationships have to have to survive? I think it comes down to something shared by both people as opposed to an emotion that one has for another that may leave the one being adored feeling cold and set apart when what they really want is to share the emotions and passion with the other person. A partnership instead of a separation. A safe place for both. Once that goal is reached, it should sustain that sharing of emotion and passion even when one may be feeling a little apprehensive as long as we don't let it get the best of us and ruin the feelings of safety that are shared.

Some relationships require passion to grow because complacency often breeds other negative emotions. It's hard to follow the leader if they're not going anywhere. Or they are trying to follow you instead of taking the role and inspiring you with hope and trust in them. It's hard to find the balance of equal roles in a relationship, considering each other's personalities while maintaining a healthy level of submission. I guess another feeling that comes into play here is confidence. Security. Respect. So, yeah, there it is.

Where am I going with this? Relationships are about a healthy balance of responsiblilities, passion, desire, consideration, and trustworthiness all tempered and screened by God's word. But they don't just happen. Doors may open on opportunites for relationships of all kinds. Do some relationships preclude others? Yes. We have to make decisions and take action to build them as well as maintain them. And we can say whatever we want to but the real proof is in the way we carry it through. Our actions. There's an old addage along those lines. Maybe you've heard it.

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