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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Careful Chemistry and the Gazelles of Love

Careful Chemistry and the Gazelles of Love
In all of our passion, we scare off love. We might end up with a date, a spouse, or a night together, and still not apprehend love. On the other hand, if we understand love as a gazelle, the most aggressive approach to apprehend it is patience.

Love is patient… (I Corinthians 13:1)



Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

 Love: Who Will I Spend My Life With?

Careful Chemistry and the Gazelles of Love


By Evan Nehring


Love is a Gazelle

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires. (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4, NIV)
Solomon’s great love song of the Old Testament describes careful chemistry. In the second chapter, the bride describes the beauty of their intimacy before she stops and gives this strong directive to the young ladies who would hear. She’s saying, to translate, “I’m experiencing heaven in my lover’s arms, and this is how I got here.”
 
Gazelles are exotic creatures. Their survival is based on their wariness and speed. They can hold a pace of 50 MPH for an extended time! They are not predators. They are prey.
 
By Robbert van der Steeg (originally posted to Flickr as Grand Gazelle) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 
We don’t have gazelles in Wisconsin. The Pronghorn Antelope in Saskatchewan would be close. We have deer though. They mostly try to avoid being run down by Hummers and Harleys.
 
Deer are wary, jumpy. They walk in the woods a few blocks from my house. They run off when I get close. There was a day when they didn’t, though.
 

Deer Whisperer at Victorian Lane

I prayer-walked all the time when I was young and single. (Still do.) One night, I left my Porter Place apartment down in Plover, WI and followed Porter Road to Tanglewood Drive. Broad, country-style roads wound their way toward the entrance of Victorian Lane. It was a beautiful, brick sidewalk development which I frequented. On this night, though, I didn’t quite make it there.
 
Dimattia Victorian Dream Home, Plover, WI
 
As I approached the back entrance to the Dimattia Victorian dream home on the corner, I peered a hundred yards across the lawn and saw a doe and three fawns heading to the same intersection I was approaching. They disappeared behind the house and I walked just a little further. Then, as I saw the four of them emerge on the other side of the house, I froze. I stood stalk still in the middle of the road as they inched silently from lamppost to lamppost.
 
When they got to the corner, the doe and one fawn continued straight on across my path, but the other two young ones headed toward me. I didn’t move. All told, I stood on the quiet road for about 45 minutes. I was amazed that the fawns were not fazed by my still presence. In fact, I began to be the deer whisperer. As the fawns approached, I talked quietly and smoothly to them. No, I didn’t touch them, but they passed slowly by about six feet away where the road shoulder met the grass.
 
I waited until they were safely away, then finished my walk.
 
Love is a gazelle. Love is a wary, jumpy deer. But if we do not startle her and scare her off, she’ll come close.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires. (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4, NIV)
I wonder if some of the “first ladies” in my life might have fared better if they hadn’t startled and scared off love with me. I wonder if I might have fared better with some of my “first ladies” if I’d also been more patient. Dare I say, less passionate?
 

How does one accomplish careful chemistry?

How does one not arouse the love gazelle? Simple: start as friends and never let go of the friendship. In our sex- and passion-crazed culture, we easily lose sight of “just friends”.
 
I’m guilty. I pursued the Romeo ideal from time to time. Perhaps many times. To be fair, Solomon does not advise us never to arouse or awaken love, but to let it lead.
 
I called my high school basketball coach, Ian Watson, once when I returned to Kenora to visit family. He asked if I was married. I said no. His reply? “Evan, I’ve found that it’s the one you don’t expect that gets you.” He didn’t use as many words, but he was saying, “Don’t arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Be a kind, gracious friend and more will happen one day.
 
In all of our passion, we scare off love. We might end up with a date, a spouse, or a night together, and still not apprehend love. On the other hand, if we understand love as a gazelle, the most aggressive approach to apprehend it is patience.
Love is patient… (I Corinthians 13:1)
“Careful chemistry” emphatically does not mean “no chemistry,” or “low chemistry.” Careful chemistry is gathering the fuel for a lifelong flame. Careful chemistry keeps your house warm but does not burn it down.
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2 comments:

  1. That is such a fabulous message! And so well written.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna. I'm hopeful that all of my early drama with relationships can help others to find a little wisdom in their relationships. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

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