It’s Valentine’s Day weekend — a commercial reminder to those who want a relationship that they don’t have one, and an occasion for those in a relationship to enjoy some “magic.”
My counsel to singles: Watch “The Return of the King,” encourage Frodo up Mount Doom, cheer “I am no man!” Eowyn as she slays the Nazgûl. Eat some popcorn and trust the providence and wisdom of a good God.
To those in a relationship, my counsel is different. Do what is appropriate to the day and your relationship status, but do NOT trust the “magic.”
In the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” what Annie (Ryan) is looking for and not nding in her relationship with her ance Walter is — we find out — “magic.” We are left to assume that she nds that magic with Sam (Hanks).
“Magic,” that surge of romantic energy and emotion, is a wonderful thing. But don’t trust it.
It is possible to generate and program “magic” by the right element of thoughtfulness, conversation, chivalry and charm. And certainly a good and long-term relationship will have sparks of “magic” woven throughout.
But if all you see is “magic,” don’t trust it. A long-term relationship is not about the “magic.” It is about commitment, devotion and faithfulness.
Long-term love is a matter of daily wanting to have conversation with the one you love. It is a matter of forgiving one another daily. It is about refusing to go to bed angry, daily. It is about serving one another, daily. It is about doing all of these things whether one feels like it or not.
Some days “magic” will accompany service and forgiveness and conversation. Most days it won’t.
The movie “Marley and Me” is purportedly about a dog. But the real beauty of the lm is the relationship between the characters portrayed by Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson as they grow together over time. Yes, there is “magic.”
There is also tension and argument and strife, as in any marriage. But there is also conversation, sacrice and forgiveness.
I overheard a family talking about seeing “Marley and Me.” A child commented that he did not think it was real.
“The parents kissed too much,” he said.
I don’t think so. But that they kissed at the beginning and at the end of a long relationship was due more to the work they put into being friends than it was to “magic.”
Don’t trust the “magic.”
The Rev. Randy Greenwald, senior pastor at Hope Presbyterian Church in Bradenton, can be reached at email@example.com. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.