Why do we keep coming back to the same things, over and over again? The same sins, the same weaknesses, the same things that have hurt us? Just when you think your over something, waves of it crash on you and leave you reeling.Is it because we think the thing we're trying to escape from will somehow fill a need inside of us? Is it a psychological addiction? Is it the temptation of Satan? I'm one who always hates to blame my failings on a source outside myself.
And yet, I find myself here. There is a relationship in my life that, despite how much we love each other, and we do, we can't stop hurting one another. We even decided that the best thing is to not really talk to each other. And yet, the desire is there to talk, to try to work it out. Is this a truly altruistic thing on my part? I know that at first glance, I desire that the other person wouldn't keep hurting. I want that person to have a feeling that the problem is resolved. And yet, deep inside, I wonder if it's actually a selfish desire on my part. Am I really thinking about the other person, or can I just not stand to not have the resolution I want?
Love is never selfish, and yet, there is something that comes along withit that is. There is something inside of me that wonders how I can get along for eternity without this one relationship. Yes, some realtionships are forever, if sealed by the proper priesthood authority. But even then the only relationship we really need is one with God. In a way, what I'm calling love in my head comes with another element that is, in a way, idolatry.
At least I think so.
These things can be easy from the outside looking inm but alot harder the other way around.
The bottom line is this question: What is love? Is love the emotion you have, that burning desire to be near another person, that softness in your heart? Or is it something more? Something entirely different?
I believe, and this belief sustains me through things like this, that love has absolutely nothing to do with feelings. Love is a series of choices, to put the other person's best interests above your own desires. If I'm feeding that feeling inside of me, I am focused on myself and what that person can give me.
And yet, in this, my little struggle over love, there is a broader problem. I have a felt need. In this case, one to be loved, and something inside of me wants to satisfy it with this one relationship. But the problem is that I'm digging a broken cistern.
In Jermeiah the prophet quotes God as saying "My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, and are hewing out for themsleves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water." That is exactly what we are doing when we seek to meet out needs from a realtionship, a sin, or an addiction. God is more than able to abundantly supply our needs, but we look to other places to get these needs met. And the places we look to, if they give us anything at all, can give us nothing more than a counterfeit that will never satisfy. And so, we seek more. Having our needs met by God requires faith, and sometimes, that seems harder than settling for the counterfeit. But if all we have in this life is counterfeit joy, counterfeit love, counterfeit peace, what will we have to show for it when it's all said and done? But if we exercise the faith, hold out, resist whatever it is in us that rebells, then it gets easier. Each time we overcome that unidentifiable need for the counterfeit, each time we find true fulfillment in God, we grow stronger. And the voice quiets until we can once again be at peace.