On blind dates and life wide open
I went on a blind date last week – my first ever. There’s a whole series of stereotypes around blind dates, and I’m guilty of holding most of them. They’re awkward, high-risk, potentially intense. But I left my blind date with the following three reflections:
1. I learned quite a bit about… myself
Meeting someone for the first time is always a mutual discovery. We choose what to ask, how we share, which chapters of our lives hold the most intriguing conversation points. As we walk the tightrope of first meetings, we decide what portions of our heart and mind to reveal.
My blind date was, in short, ready to get married. One of the many things I learned about myself in the date is that I’m not. At least not now, to him.
I don’t think I could have articulated that so clearly pre-date, but within our conversation I discovered that we were not in the same chapter of our lives for love. We might not even be in the same book at the moment.
2. You can find any advice you want to find
My life is an open book, so I posted about the date on social media and experienced the deluge of questions, advice, and opinions that any open-book post invites.
My friends were fiercely divided; half thought I should go on at least one more date and give it a chance, even though I wasn’t sure about the spark. The other half advised me on a variety of other scenarios. All were seeking my happiness and God’s best for my life.
In a sea of opinions, I was reminded yet again how easy it is to find the advice I want instead of listening to God. I decided not to go on another date, and in texting that response, discovered this truth:
3. Every response of our lives can reflect the gospel
In my head, I jumped to worst-case scenario.
“What if he hates me?”
“What if this is SUPER awkward?”
“What if, what if, what if…?”
I excel at filling in the blanks with hypothetical, hyperbolic scenarios. None of the above happened, of course.
He was kind, gracious, generous. He had 10 hopes for his future wife and I hit all ten of those (score!), but instead of berating or belittling our short time together, he responded with grace, kindness, and the acknowledgement that we were both richer for our date.
In this response, he reflected to me the way that even our text messages after blind dates can showcase a genuine, sacrificial, Gospel love.
After all, Jesus is the king who came much farther than London to Falmouth to find his bride.
He’s the lover who seeks and pursues with a heaven-sent relentlessness. (Luke 19:10)
He’s the bridegroom who rejoices over us forever (Isaiah 62:5).
His love is not just for today or tomorrow, but eternal. (Romans 8:35-39).
I would rather know His love than any other. Blind dates are fun – or at least, they can be. But whether there are sparks or not, I rest on this forever promise from Jesus to the ones who sit in blindness:
“And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.”
Which leaves me with this simple resolve: live heart wide open. I don’t have a date for my next wedding, but I do have the promise that God will never forsake me. I choose that promise all day, every day, above any other.
This article was originally posted on Threads on 19 April 2017