Busy, distracted by work and other issues, blah, blah, blah. You know how these things go.
Then I got hit by perhaps the corniest inspiration on the face of the earth.
During the week leading up to Valentine's Day, radio stations like to bombard you with all the love songs they think you can possibly stand. A grinch I am not, but I like to rock out when I'm driving, and all that soft, slow stuff makes me flip the station faster than you can say "talk radio". A couple of days ago, though, I got caught on the tail end of a song I liked by the Foreigner track "I Want To Know What Love Is". I let out a snort, then said to no one in particular, "Wouldn't we all?" Later on that night, the song replayed in my mind a few times (because that's how earworms work, unfortunately), and I realized that the song was such a hit because it stated a profound truth in an extremely, almost excessively simple way. A man has been hurt many times, but he wants to try again, hopefully missing any landmines on the way. What he would like, he says in the song, is some kind of map or guidebook that would tell him what he is looking for and how to get there.
It's like that with us singles. Been around a few times, not all of them pleasant. Wouldn't mind getting out there and trying again, but so many considerations. One of the biggest considerations is where to start.
I have to say I like the way singer Howard Jones sang the question: What is Love, anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway?
The question is not as cynical as it sounds, and really neither am I.
A point of reference for me as to what Love is, is the 13th chapter of the book of 1 Corinthians in the Bible. To me, it makes some very good all around points about what love is, and is not, and how you treat people when love is involved. It also goes far beyond romantic relationships into the larger kinds of love. I have a great deal of affection for the New International Version, so that's the translation I'll be working from here.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.