Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What is this thing called love?

I've set up and put away my laptop at least 4 times today. That annoys me. I set it up to do 3 things, remembered only 2, put it away. Remembered the one thing I forgot, set it back up again, thought of something else to do, did that, forgot the one thing. Finally, I have done all I intended to remember to do, and now have something on my mind to write about, so here I am again.

So what is this thing called love? Psh... the word itself is so overused it makes me sick sometimes. "I looooovvveeee this pie!" "I loooooovvvveee your blouse!" I loooooovvvveeee _________!" and so it goes. Girls use it more. Obviously, because we are in love with love. But what is it really? It can't be just a cliche' as it is used, can it? It can't be the definition of the feeling you get when you taste, see, smell, touch, hear that something that you appreciate at a deeper level can it? Those feelings come and go.

For instance, I've been wearing a certain perfume for several years now and am beginning to lose my first love for it. Now, no one is going to condemn or judge me for deciding to switch things up a bit are they? I'm tired of it... it doesn't smell as nice. It's a little "young" for me... perhaps not, but still, I would like some new perfume. Is that wrong? Is my love failing? Did I love it to begin with? Why would I say "love" then? Love is more than that right?

If I were married ten years, woke up one morning, looked at my spouse and decided I wanted to see a new face beside me every morning, what would the love experts say then? has a list ten feet long on what love is. Most seem to be about feelings people experience themselves. As if love is something you experience alone. Something that is or is not. The only hint of action in any of the definitions I read was the part where it explained love is what the Creator has for us, and what is "due" in return. That implies choice of giving... instead of some flighty, unreliable thing that perhaps may come for a visit and stay for awhile.

On the contrary, 1 Corinthians 13 talks about love in a completely different way. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity (gross injustice, wickedness), but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing. Love never fails." What is this? Strange. No one else thinks love looks like this... at least not the dictionary. Or Wikipedia... what do they know. But don't we all associate love with these actions anyways? Or want to? I think we recognize it as Paul defines when we see it... but still we persist in the other definition of it. Then why not choose to act this way when we love someone? Wait, do we act this way before we love or after? Where does it begin? Does it end at any time? If Paul is right, then love doesn't end... love is doing for someone what you would have them do for you, no? The golden rule? What is that all about... something to do with neighbors and friends .... or is it lovers too? What is a lover according to this definition? Do I have to be old to know what this is? If I try to act this way to everyone and especially those I care for, then will I know what it means, truly?

Wikipedia says love is an "abstract concept." How can they be sure? It seems to me that love is more of an alive thing than some "abstract concept" conjured up in our own psyche to be molded to who we are and what we want.

Feelings, on the other hand are quite unpredictable and completely subjective "abstract concepts" that change definition by individual experience or judgment. So, who can know what love is? Those who experience it and tell us all about it, or should we take it from God who wrote about it quite often throughout His written word? We humans can be confused creatures... or quite often feel sure of something we have only experienced and therefore think everyone must feel the same thing or their version is the fake one. Or is every one's love the same and we just explain it differently? But than what if... our affection for someone a crush? infatuation? love? Blah! who can know?

I must conclude that the real thing called love can only be discovered to the fullest through a lifetime of acting the part and seeking to understand and know the Author of such a great work of art. That, my friend, is what I think this thing called love actually is. Now, for the lifetime of figuring it out...

Do you concur? Or disagree?