I believe what C.S. Lewis said in 'Mere Christianity' is true when he talked about emotions. He was describing how our feelings rise and fall, and how it's impossible, even ridiculous, for us to feel one thing all the time. We can't be constantly ecstatic, or constantly sad, but instead we go through phases and seasons. Equally, we can't be completely in love all the time: most long-term couples I know have attested to this. Sometimes you're madly in love... and sometimes you aren't. We're just humans, we wax and wane like the spring to the autumn, and it takes more perseverance than we'd really like to trudge on through the winter months.
This is what it is for me anyway. Although I don't think I could ever go back to a place of denying God's place in the universe, sometimes I'm not as in love with him as I think I ought to be. Some days I think about the wonder of God's creation and all the joy I take in it... and some days I don't. Some days I wake up and I can't wait to talk to Him, just nattering away all day long, and sometimes I don't. Or I spend the day thinking about Him and spending time where He is. And other days I just don't fancy it. I can't explain it other than admitting that I'm not the faithful person I wish I was – I don't always stick out the rough patches or the dry spells in order to be with Him. Sometimes I feel like I need a break from the relationship.
It worries me whenever this happens, because I know I'm ignoring Him, and I never want to do it but sometimes a break feels better. There's no moral standard, no voice of conscience or distracting conversation, no need to make time for someone else, I can just get all my own stuff done... I'm stubborn too, and I know better than to try and force even myself to do something when I feel like resisting it. It's that sense of 'I don't need you. Look, I can do it all myself.' I can't of course. I find I like who I am a lot less when I cut God out of my life. My patience shortens, I'm uncharitable and mean towards others, if only in my head and not out loud, I lose the sense of underlying joy that sustains me from day to day. And why? Because I'm intent on keeping him away, I don't want to be dependant, I don't want to surrender, at least until it really comes down to the wire.
At the art show of two friends of mine today I had been feeling that way for a few weeks, not abandoning my God but certainly not giving Him the attention He deserves. I couldn't see the point in it, why not just take care of my own business? It was an excellent show, I bid on a painting (more on that later), ate some delicious food, met some great people and all seemed well. But in the quieter half of the evening when night had come on and the band had played, I found my feet moving without permission as one guy played a guitar and sang at the front of the hall. For some of the songs, not all but some, I found myself wanting to dance, to be graceful (which I'm not) and to express something. As I listened more closely I realised the songs that were having this effect were all worship songs, all sung heartfelt to God. I went, and sat, and listened, letting my mind run, and felt that strange sense of longing you have when you remember the house you used to live in, or the friends you used to know. I wanted what I'd had before. I'd been unfaithful, cold and distant, but God's great love and wanting for me had never changed, never faded. He loved me as much as before, was as wonderful as He had ever been. Where had I been? What had possessed me? I looked forward to the next time I could see Him and begin to rebuild the parts of our relationship I had let slip.
I think I may be ready to fall in love all over again.