Pheew! Valentine’s Day is over for another 364 days. I know, you probably think I am the least romantic person in the world. Leigh-Ann would probably testify that I am somewhere in the middle. This whole romantic idea aside, there are certainly some observations I made throughout the day that I am happy to share today.
Beside the controversy over the origins of Valentines Day, a quick look at the money spent yesterday will attest that the spirit of St. Valentine lives on. It is a beautiful thing to have people in our lives that we love. Kids, singles and couples alike can be a part of the joy of giving out and maybe even receiving valentines. We can all get a little carried away as well. So fortunately for me, I received an e-mail on Sunday morning advertising flowers to be delivered on Valentines Day and I had the presence of mind to order immediately.
On Monday, I remember walking through the store and thinking to myself that I should pick up some cards for my three valentines, but then I saw all the people climbing over each other in the card section and for some crazy reason thought if I came back later, I wouldn’t have to wade through humanity for the opportunity to spend money on an overpriced card. Unfortunately, the population in the card aisle multiplied exponentially throughout the week.
The morning of Valentines dawned and I still was hanging on to the fact that I had my flowers ordered, but nothing else. At the risk of falling down toward the bottom of the romanticism scale I had planned to take the girls out for dinner. As the day wore on, I think Leigh-Ann started to get worried and mentioned the possibility of ordering out. This was the perfect solution. After getting a busy signal three times I made contact with Olive Garden and submitted my order. I drove into the parking lot and the closest possible parking spot opened, so I took it. Unfortunately, the “Good Luck” ran out at the curb. When I walked in it was more crowded than a bathroom at Arrowhead. It took me several minutes just to locate the line for carry out. Then I waited for in line for 20 minutes. After another 10 minute wait while they found my food, I still had a smile on my face because I just knew the incredible stress we had sidestepped.
People were packed in like sardines, servers were stressed out, food was mediocre and if romanticism were a temperature, it was below freezing. So why spend all the money and time to celebrate Valentines Day and in the end leave fed up and stressed out? Honestly, there is a risk of falling down the romanticism scale…the flower and greeting card companies have collaborated to create this exceptional standard for people to live up to.
What would it be like to have some grace on Valentines Day and not be forced into living up to some artificial standard of romanticism? If we lived out our romanticism 364 days of the year I am confident that people would not feel left out if we decided to boycott Valentines Day altogether. The problem is that we do not live it out for 364 days so we guilt ourselves into celebrating alongside everyone else.
Our spiritual lives are much like this as well. We often attend a church service to alleviate our guilty consciences. Obviously, it is not bad to go to church, but it is not good to go to church for the wrong reasons. If we lived out our faith 24/7 we would be able to attend church and be recharged for the week ahead instead of feeling absolved for the week behind. This Sunday we will study John 15:18-16:4…I urge you to spend a few minutes reading the text and praying specifically for God to recharge you for the week to come.