Tuesday, August 9, 2016

when our feelings don't cooperate

Lewis talks about the interaction between our feelings and our faith today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He tells us how we often experience "being in love" with someone when we begin marriage. Of course, this is rather a modern thing when you think about it. For long stretches of time throughout history, people married for other reasons than "being in love". It was rare for two people to get married just because they loved each other. That's a luxury that we take for granted today. Arranged marriages were all the rage for centuries, and love didn't always accompany the act.

Even as recently as the early 20th century, people may have MARRIED for love, but they stayed together even when those feelings passed away, sometimes completely passed away. Many people lived in "loveless marriages" because of their religious beliefs or for the sake of their children.

We find this sentiment in our walk with Jesus, too, I think. There are days when we are REALLY not "feeling it". When the joy and excitement of doing His will have faded, and we are only doing it because we know we should. There is a certain bravery to that... a certain integrity when we continue doing the right thing even after the feelings of joy and fun have faded. Whether it's in our marriage or in our walk with Jesus.

The cool thing, as many will tell you, is that after you keep doing the right thing because it's the right thing for a while... you find a deeper, more powerful joy and love accompanying your journey a little farther down the road. Couples who have been married for decades will tell you how the relationship becomes something richer and deeper than they had when they were newlyweds. And anyone who has walked with Jesus for decades knows that the relationship never grows less, but only more rewarding and more amazing as you go.

We all go through dry times. When things aren't fun and we keep on because we should. But we know, because He promised us, that we will find it all worth it at the end.

Thanks, God, for helping us keep going when our feelings don't cooperate.