Window Shopping By Richard O'Ffill

Photo: Altaf Hussein
I remember the first time I saw her. It was 49 years ago, and we were in the college cafeteria just after semester break. She was a new face on campus and being not "socially attached" to anyone at the time, I immediately began to plot how best to impress her and get a date.

I determined this venture was worth spending some of my hard-earned cash on; so, throwing caution to the wind, I purchased two tickets to a Victor Borge concert at Constitution Hall. Since the concert was sold out, I was offered provisional seats on the stage itself just inches from the maestro. The cost was exorbitant, but this only served to convince me that this would surely make the hoped-for-impression.

It must have done the trick. That young lady and I are still dating each other. We've also been married for 47 years.

Dating is exhilarating. Everyday is new and exciting; feet walk on clouds, hearts skip beats, life looks beautiful through those rose-tinted glasses. Is that normal? Absolutely! Is it wrong? I hope not. Dating is, in fact, part of our Great Physician's plan. He fully intended that His children grow up, mature, and seek companionship. "It is not good that the man should be alone," He told Adam in Genesis 2:18, KJV.

We're attracted to other people by many things. It could be as whimsical as a smile, or as basic as a feeling of security. But the final selection process—the process that ends with a nervous "I do" uttered before witnesses—must be carried out using issues far deeper than looks and feelings.

Dating is a time for discovering which is the right person for you. It's a time to get to know what makes us tick; what we like and don't like; how we spend money; what we believe in; what our habits are.

Dating is a grand experiment, and that may be as far as some couples want to go. But the man and woman who desire to deepen their relationship must make a commitment. They become more and more exclusive until, finally, they pledge to love, honor, and cherish "until death do us part."

There is Someone who loves you very much. This person has had His eye on you ever since you were born, and He wants to be first in your life. I wonder if we are as fair with Him as we are with one another. In short, are you committed to God, or are you just "dating" Him?

Are you window shopping—looking here and there for someone who will bring you the most benefits? If God promised to make you rich, beautiful, or famous, would you attend church more often?

Is God your blind date—the stranger you hardly know yet who you expect to meet all your specifications? Is He on your heart's short list only when you can't find anyone else?

Are you trying to double-date with God? Instead of making Him first in your life, do you expect Him to share time with your career or many social engagements?

Maybe you think you can "go Dutch" with your Creator—He takes care of His obligations, you take care of yours. That way, you won't be "beholding" to Him for anything.

Perhaps you consider yourself "going steady" with God, but not willing to move up to the next level—being totally committed to Him "until death do us part."

The ultimate cad in the dating scene is the two-timer—one who pretends to be committed to you while maintaining developing friendships on the side. Have you ever said Yes to God, then returned to your old way of life?

The Bible says that our Great Physician is a "jealous" God (Exodus 34:14). That means He has chosen you, and He doesn't want anything or anybody to take you away. Like any serious suitor, He longs to spend time with you because He has invested everything He owns in your relationship. He has paid every bill, including your ticket to heaven. No, He's not trying to impress you or make Himself look good. He's simply saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love;I  have drawn you with loving-kindness (Jeremiah 31:3).

How could anyone resist a love like that?
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Richard O'Ffill writes from Longwood, Florida. Reprinted with permission, Vibrant Life, Sep/Oct 2007. All rights reserved © 2012 AnswersForMe.org. Click here for content usage information.