Thursday, September 1
I was talking with a group of guys earlier this week and the conversation turned to wives, girlfriends, and football. It all seemed like banter until one guy said, "You know what the problem is, Mormon Guy? You're too busy for a wife. And you don't need one." He went on to outline the reasons why I was too busy, and then detailed all the external factors that stood in the way of girls who might be interested - the things that made it obvious to onlookers that I was somehow self-sufficient and had no room for romantic female companionship.
I'd discount his comment as a trite and light-hearted way to poke fun at my unmarried state and the rest of my life, but I think he was only partly joking. And I've heard it a few times before... and hearing things always makes me wonder how I should be applying them in my life.
The scriptures say that men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will and choice. I date, even when I have no desire to. I talk with girls and try to find more people to add to the dating pool. I improve my list of talents so that someday I'll match the subconscious list of Prince Charming for whichever princess really becomes the recipient of true love's kiss. And while I'm waiting, I am trying to move forward in life. I'm not waiting for life to begin or insisting that God grant my desires before I begin to make a contribution to society; as I make that contribution, I know that He will bless me and make me into a better man.
But there is a difference between engaging my priorities on work... and working on my priorities towards engagement... especially for me. With a normal guy, love could catch him by surprise - sort of as a side effect of the rest of life, sometimes in spite of not dating or actively searching for a wife. But in my case that won't happen... at least I don't think so. I don't think that the Lord is going to just someday make me fall in love with a girl at first sight and we'll live happily ever after. No... I usually have to work for my blessings, and then the miracle comes... in such a way that I know I really had nothing to do with it, and was probably going in the wrong direction, but it comes. And the miracles in my life come when I am anxiously engaged in doing the right things - not just good things, but the right things. The things that God wants me to do.
So yeah. I think I need to spend more of my effort dating. That thought makes me cringe. But maybe I can convince myself that I love dating by telling myself some of the good things about it.
I love dating because it enables me to change people's lives. I've been an impact for good through dating... and I love dating because it changes me into a better man. I love dating because I learn about people and how to meet their needs. Because I get to do fun stuff with others and make friends. I love dating because I sometimes can set up past girlfriends with current colleagues... and see them hit it off... or make contacts for business or involvement in the community. I love dating because when I date, and get home, I feel like I've accomplished something important in my life... and God promises me that it will work out - not just generally, but in my own personal life. It will work out for me. I love dating because it teaches me to be a better missionary... it helps me see and understand the trials people are facing and develop the tools to help them. And I love dating because it gives me a chance to bear my testimony... to share the gospel with someone and see their eyes light up as they gain a new insight on the truth.
I love dating. At least I'm trying. And hopefully my friends were wrong... and I have plenty of room in my life for dating, and a wife.