Thursday, November 18, 2010


Somewhere in the distant past when I had time for video games I sat, surrounded by boxes of warm, gooey pizza and somewhere around 600 pounds of gut-wrenching, howling, grunting testosterone (between 3 other guys). This was not madness. This. Was. Halo.

If you are not familiar, Halo is a video game you play either by yourself or with other people online. Your job is to get dropped into a boxed location with some guns and either kill more people than kill you or complete a mission objective (capture the flag or something akin to that) while people are trying to kill you. Every now and then you get a guy like me who doesn't get much practice and is more of a human body shield than a finely-tuned killing machine. And, trust me, when I get the "you have been killed by ... " screen, my friends laugh, but there is very little satisfaction -- it is not as fun to kill the little guy. It is defeating the guy running around eviscerating everyone with seemingly little effort that causes your friend to jump up and howl in delight as they just unseated the big dog. 

It is about winning, and you do not win by beating the guy in last place.

When someone else has something, a position, a title, maybe even a significant other's heart, it becomes that much more tantalizing for us. It is the reason why the heart seems to want that which it can't have: we need to reach a comfortable level of self-assurance that comes through confidence, confidence which can be ascertained by investing in or obtaining things that project status. A lack of confidence can also appear in the form of arrogance as one relies on their ego to do all the work and project an image of success and contentment. It makes you feel better about yourself. For a season, and to a limited and shallow extent, that is. Trust me, I have been there.

Sometimes I feel like I might get the definition or meaning of humility wrong, but I understand a humble person to be someone who is whole and feels confident without the titles, the adornments, or the awards. When I dwell on the word "humble," I think of someone who is not meek or timid, agreeable at all times, but rather a person who, although at peace and harmony with their surroundings, is a powerful force of concise decision-making, peace making, and the desire to further themselves or the others around them in the name of a selfless goal or desire. As men and women, our own desires are flesh-based, we want to satisfy our own needs and desires and do not take God's will into consideration. Only goals or desires that are within His will are truly selfless, in my opinion.

That said, I now venture into the realm of relationships. As a contently single man (and not currently looking), I tell you that the words "contently single" have not existed in my life at all times. In fact, it was not until I had a game-changing paradigm shift not too long in the distant past that I began to rest in this place. So what can I tell you from my time as someone who did not trust in God in this area of my life and saw it happen in the lives of other people as well?

I was not entirely happy with me. I liked me, I saw good in me, but I was discontent and lacking in confidence in some areas I needed it so I could stop wasting my time. I was not in a place where I was allowing or interested in allowing God to exist in those places: I wanted to do things on my own or lean on my own understanding. It is easy when you are in this place of discontent with yourself that you seek someone else to fill the cracks and "complete" you. And thus begins the frivolous and hurtful journey of what I like to call "career dating." Constantly on the prowl or needing fulfillment that a relationship can bring, you're always finding yourself in one or wanting to be in one. If you can just get that person that makes you feel so happy about yourself and the world, then all will be well. At least for a short while.

There comes a point where you realize that you are not just dating someone, they are also dating you. If you are wrecked and needing to have someone because you do not like yourself and want someone else in the name of feeling better about you or being able to ignore your own shortcomings, then you are not a viable option for that person, you are a detriment to both them and yourself. To make things work you become the person you think they need or want. I think the relatively short and quick breakdown in relationships, for the most part, can be attributed to this. The guise of simply being who your significant other wants cannot last. You are deeply-ingrained and built up of deeper traits and characteristics than that; it is only a matter of time before who you are surfaces and someone realizes they went looking for a good deal, feels they got a raw deal, and then goes looking for a new deal (Thank you, Dr. Seif).

Being a whole person is going to do countless beneficial things for you that are too numerous to list here, but it is also going to allow you to connect with the right person for you and have a viable relationship. It is not going to fall apart when the real you surfaces because the real you will be present at all times. And instead of focusing on your needs what your partner can do for you, you can take the eyes off of yourself and be a better partner for them. 

Being this person is not attained by our own victories, earthly trophies, or a reliance upon ourselves. Nay, it comes upon steadfast peace and joy that comes with aligning our character with Him, and allowing our will to be His will for our lives. In that, we find the peace and the confidence to be who we are called to be. And, trust me, that is much more attractive than being the loudest or showiest guy or gal in the room. You wanna win a heart? Have a full one, lacking in nothing.

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