Andrew walked in the door the other night and I heard the crescendo of harp music.
After nearly 18 years of marriage, I’d like to say that my heart still goes pit-a-pat whenever I hear my husband’s voice. But the harp music came from a teen practicing in the apartment upstairs, and frankly, I felt no heart-pounding surge of sentiment when Andrew called, “I’m home!”
Don’t get me wrong—I love my husband. In our courting days, feelings ran high, like the orchestral arrangement of a movie soundtrack. But as the years have passed, so has the usefulness of gauging the strength of our relationship by how giddy I feel. Romance has a place in the equation, but the full measure of a marriage lies in communication, trust, acts of thoughtfulness, unity and cooperation.
In the spiritual life, the measure of devotion is the strength of our relationship with God. But sometimes we get caught up in focusing too much on the sensation of being uplifted during prayer. We fall in the trap of equating feeling devoted with being devoted. Too much emphasis on that and we end up devoted to our emotions instead of to the Lord.
So what do we do when we’re yearning for warm fuzzies instead of yearning for God? Laugh at our weakness. Smile up at Him. Say, “Sorry, Lord—I want to know you more than I want to feel that I know you.” And get back to talking and listening to Him, instead of to our emotions.