Friday, March 22, 2013

From a Distance

We are aboard a gorgeous clipper this week. Each time we leave and return in port we are struck by how absolutely picturesque and ideal it appears. And yet, an offhanded comment by a fellow passenger last night really struck me.

While there are 130 passengers aboard, there are also 80 crew working constantly behind the scenes to keep our vessel in tip top shape. As we walk about the boat someone is constantly not just mopping, but polishing brass, straightening chairs, picking up glasses, even painting various parts of the ship.

This morning I couldn't escape this truth. To be entranced only by the beauty of a relationship, a career, a call and neglect to take a closer look at all the 'unseen' upkeep and work to make it happen would be only half the story.

There are multiple implications of this truth, but because I am on a marriage retreat I can't help but consider it through that lens. When we meet couples who appear to have it all together on the surface, it would behoove us to draw near and examine the truth---of the storms their relationships have endured, the preparations they made before launching, what they have elected to throw overboard along the way, how they chart (and adjust) their course, and the reality of the upkeep they prioritize to keep things 'shipshape.'

Honestly, there was a time when the references to marriage being 'work' made me groan...seriously, that is NOT the Disney princess fairy tale I longed for as a little girl. Wasn't 'true love' meant to conquer all and come easily and without struggle?

As I grow up, I have learned to embrace this part of life. Whether it be career, parenthood, marriage, friendships or working is teaching me how much richer the enjoyment when there is 'sweat equity' involved. Aren't we far more bonded to the experiences and relationships that resulted from struggle and commitment than we are to the things that seemed to fall into our lap?

It is counter culture, but life is reminding me again and again to think long term, to not be afraid of work and to trust God that the payoff of character development, deep-rooted commitment is worth the investment.

May our desires not be for pinterest or facebook-worthy surface appearances, but for a heart and life that reflect the glory of God upon up close inspection too.  It's work, but I believe with all my heart it is worth it!

I pray that each time in life I am tempted to covet this,

I will remember this.


Katie Burnett said...

So true! I constantly try to remind my children that the Fairy Tales constantly shoved down their throat by society AREN'T TRUE. It's sad to see so many adults disillusioned by these lies. Wonderful post.

Christy said...

Great post! :)