08 February 2012

Refuse to be Random

I've not totally figured out why so many people are attached to the idea that being random is somehow beneficial. In high school several teachers had posters that read, "Practice random acts of kindness." At the time I thought that was cool, it made me think about doing things for others. Now I see the folly in it.

First of all the idea doesn't quite work. If you set out to do something random, it is no longer random. The thing you thought was random is now something you've set your mind to. And I guess that's the point: our random acts should instead be intentional.

Then there's the trickle of randomness into relationships - especially romance. If a couple is no longer spontaneous, their love must be dead. And the danger to most marriages is that people go into them thinking the romance will remain random, spontaneous, and "alive."

My marriage is alive, yet I don't think I've been spontaneous in loving my wife in years. And the truth is I can't afford to be.

In order to serve my wife, in order to put her before myself when I come home at the end of each day, I have to plan my course of action. I tell myself the kinds of things I know she needs from me, and I set out to do them. Don't get me wrong, these are my best days and there are plenty of bad ones. But I'm learning the bad days can be undercut by my intention to love my wife and children.

Is that Iron Man's hand? "No, dad, it's me!"

If we wait for this kind of love to happen on its own, it will not be. If I don't tell myself, my deepest self, to take a backseat, it won't. And I'll come home expecting my wife to dote on me, my children to throw themselves at me in obedience, and all of them to seek my comfort. Maybe I exaggerate. But I don't think all that much. That deep self wants attention and usually acts or thinks in terms of entitlement.

The heart wants what it wants, and mostly it wants to be the center - of everything. Unless I train my heart to love, it will only take.

Nothing, after all, is random. There is order. There is a plan. Choose to be part of what God is doing, choose to love like he wants us to.


Beth said...

I love your commitment to "train your heart." That is truly a noble ambition. And yeah, I've always had an issue with the "Random acts of kindness" thing. It is an oxymoron and you've beautifully set us on a path toward true kindness and love! :)

Margo Kelly said...

Oh. My. I love this post!!

Intentional Acts of Kindness.


SherryE said...

I never really thought of it that way. Good post!

Jeremy miller said...

Right on Sir. I appreciate the thought.

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