I lost some weight! Yeah! No one really noticed, but it was my resolution. I recently was working on that New Year's resolution, literally working on my exercise elliptical when it froze up. It stopped moving and something broke inside. I thought to myself, "I am not giving up! It's three weeks into January and I didn't give up, the equipment did!"
What is the problem here? This resolution is almost history like most of them. But as we look forward to things of the heart and Valentine's Day, there is one resolution we all strive for every day. Nothing "breaks" or "seizes up" with this one, because we are determined to see this resolution through.
What is it? To be loved. We are all resolved to be loved. Oh, I know what some of you are saying: "What is this mushy nonsense?" Just give me a few more lines to make my argument before you put these words in your bird's cage.
When I am talking about being loved, I'm not talking about the Harlequin romances you read as a teen or a Hallmark channel sappy movie. I am talking about unwavering, consistent and straightforward love. We are all resolved to know we are loved by someone. We want a solid foundation we can depend on, to be able to say about at least one person, "I know they love me."
A woman once told me, "I am not a very sociable person," which I interpreted as "I am afraid to be loved again." I think that if we are honest, we all know love is a risky business. In fact, as a teen I listened to my Pat Benatar on my Sony Walkman telling me that "love is a battlefield."
Now, as our resolutions fade and we celebrate Valentine's Day, some of us are blessed to have someone with whom we can share our romantic gestures and fanciful thoughts. Flowers are bought, special weekends are planned, and the weight loss plan goes the way of last year's calendar as we eat a special Valentine's dinner with over 2,000 calories.
Oh, but to be loved. I once read in a poem, "To be loved is to know and to know is to be loved." I might gain the weight back, the gym equipment in my living room might break and seize up again, but my resolution to be loved as God designed it will always be there. Why? Because we were made that way.
From the hopeless romantic who goes crazy on Valentine's Day to the embittered and lonely who say, "It's a silly day made up by the card companies," we must admit there is one resolution we share - to be loved.
Good news - we are. The same God who instilled that longing in us provides the solution to our resolution. (Sorry for the rhyme.)
There is a book I read every day that says, "God is love." Whether we have experienced this for ourselves or we avoid this truth because our experiences tell us something different, this truth doesn't change.
So whether you picked out candies for Valentine's or were dreading the day, either way God can help you with your resolution. "Will someone really love me?" The answer is "yes." I have found it. It is real and I am no one special. This can be the year you say "yes" to being loved, and you won't find it on E-Harmony or at the local bar. I found it just around the corner at that little church I drive by on the way home. Yes, people can love you and yes it's not perfect. In the simple songs like "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" love is there - in His people, in His Son, in the pure relationship God gives us.
So resolve to try again. Show up on a Sunday and you might discover that protecting yourself from being hurt was not the life God intended for you anyway. This resolution to be loved only takes one simple step through the doors of a local church, so step in. God has done all the rest.
Mike Klaus is the senior minister at Columbia County Christian Church.
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