The other day I was watching Jen as she worked with Jamil on something when I suddenly got the feeling of ‘Oh my goodness, I get to be married to her’. It was this feeling of absolute joy and giddiness. I, in that moment, remembered the crush I had on her when we first started dating. Over the years our relationship has deepened and matured for sure, but that crush has never really gone away. Unfortunately, doing the work of deepening our relationship can often overshadow the goodness and joy of that crush. Still, in the moments I feel it and remember it, I take pleasure in it – and all too often let it drift away as if it is actually as ephemeral as it feels.
One of the basic tenets of Christian faith is that God is love. There is a massiveness to this idea. That God is the perfect embodiment of love – the Platonic ideal of LOVE. When we are told we are supposed to love God this overwhelming sense of the perfection of God’s love comes with it. “Love God with all of your heart” is what we’re told to do, but that can be quite daunting with this feeling. It’s like we’re supposed to come into the relationship as if we’ve been growing into it for fifty years already. That’s hard to do, maybe even impossible.
What if we were supposed to fall in love with God and allow the other stuff to come over time? What if our relationship with God was supposed to start as a crush? I think it is supposed to start that way and I don’t think it’s ever supposed to stop. Sure over time it’s supposed to grow and deepen and in time it will be like you’ve been with God for fifty years, but it should start as a crush.
Think about what a crush is, it’s a desire to be desired. It’s a lack of reasonableness. It’s foolishness at it’s least destructive point. These are all things that God has called us to be, to desire God’s love and to not be reasonable and sometimes to be outright foolish. God expects us to have a crush on God.
There is a point to having a crush. It draws us close or at least builds up the desire to be close. We develop courage to come close to the one we desire to be with. It allows us to open up the parts of our emotional selves that are typically jaded and guarded. In short we learn to be free. Unlike crushes on humans, God always desires us back. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom,” writes the apostle Paul. A crush on God is our unconscious recognition of the closeness of the Spirit of God, we taste freedom and it is good.
There is plenty of time to be serious and to discuss important issues of faith. We should spend time with those topics. We should also allow ourselves to be giddy about the fact that God has chosen us, and God desires us, and yes that God loves us. Take a moment today, tomorrow, everyday to embrace your crush on God. Let the feelings overwhelm you, soak it in, and be free; you won’t be sorry that you did.