Fear: Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.
In my recent dating escapades, I’ve discovered that this completely depressing idea is true. And I’ve also discovered that most men waste the time given to them.
My most recent date was with a very nice man. A decent man. Small-town. Church-going. Family. Those are all great pluses to this guy’s credit. But then, we start talking, and he asks if I like to travel.
“I love to travel! I haven’t done as much of it as I’d like to do, but I’ve been blessed to go to spend time in Rome, Florence, Venice, London, Beijiing, Mongolia (no one knows the city names, so may as well stick with the whole country when I mention it). Do you like to travel?”
“I’m totally into travel,” he says. “I’ve been to Hawaii a couple of times and I loved it.”
Then he asks if I’m into sports…
“Well, I played softball my freshman year in college on an athletic scholarship, but gave that up for a lot of different reasons. Nowadays, I’m into running. I usually run a half marathon or two every year and my favorite race is a long-distance, overnight relay. You like sports?”
He tells me that he once played flag football with some friends, then he proceeds to try to explain to me what flag football is.
Then he says he’s really into scifi movies. Do I like scifi?
“I LOVE scifi. I totally grew up watching the Next Generation and I love The Fifth Element, Alien, etc… I even go to conventions and talk with legit Trekkies in Starfleet uniform.”
He proceeds to tell me that he’s really into Star Trek, but can’t remember the name of the captain in his favorite Star Trek movie.
Then he asks if I like to hike, he’s really into hiking…
“I actually don’t love it, but I’m always up for hiking if someone else wants to. I’ve done the Grand Canyon a couple of times. Rim-to-Rim once. I’m going to Peru in a few months and am going to do a 5-day trek to Macchu Picchu. What’s your favorite hike you’ve done?”
“Oh I don’t actually hike very often.”
Finally, here’s the best one. He tells me that he really is only looking for one thing in a girl. She has to be serious about God. He proceeds to ask me some sort of vague question about what I think about church and the Bible. I didn’t know exactly what he wanted to hear, so I just started talking. I’m pretty good about reading my Bible, especially during the school year since I’m on a regular schedule. It’s harder during breaks. I struggle with prayer. I rarely miss church. I like reading books about theology and doctrine…
Then, I discover that he rarely reads his Bible and has read exactly one and a half books about his faith… both are Joshua Harris books about dating.
And all I can think is, what the hell has this guy been doing for the past 30 years?
One of my early Christian reads was John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life, and I think that book helped light a fire under me so that that I’m intentional about really doing things rather than just thinking about doing them. As I look back on my (nearly) 30 years on this planet, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been committed to Christ. I’ve shared the gospel – not as well as I should have, certainly, but well. I’ve loved people – again, not as well as I should have, but well. I’ve seen the world and experienced soooo much.
Sadly, I’ve not yet dated a man who I could honestly say has lived life well. I’ve known men and women who I can say that about, but I haven’t found a man to date who I would describe as worthy of his calling. Quiet desperation – sure. Wasted time – absolutely.
Because all of the men I’ve dated have not lived very much, I’m incredibly afraid that attaching myself to a man might make me less-worthy of my calling. Or less interesting. Or less-_________. Why aren’t there more men (and women) in this world who do what they want to do and/or what they believe they should do? Why aren’t people more aware of their mortality and the limited time they have? I really don’t get people who want to do things, but don’t. Sure, there are things that circumstances may keep us from doing, but I hated that the guy I was out with said he loved traveling, hiking, Christianity, SciFi, reading, etc… but he hadn’t exactly done any of them. Even with his faith, he didn’t do/live it. He thought about it… but he didn’t follow through.
I can’t imagine many ways I could live that would be sadder than that. 😦