Love the One You’re With
By Cynthia Ruchti –
How long ago was that song written? Relationally a disaster in the making, the popular song said, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
Not great counsel for sustaining a marriage, but good advice for contentment with other issues.
Our yard was dipped in liquid nitrogen last night. I awoke to a frosty scene. The temp isn’t bad for this time of year—twenty-two balmy degrees. But my computer’s screensaver is calling to me—a thatched hut in Tahiti with a crystal-clear infinity pool spilling over into a sun-soaked turquoise ocean.
That’s where I’d rather be. Someplace tropical. Warm. Where I could sit outside to read a book without risk of frostbite. Where I could eat seafood and a crisp salad under the stars. (Okay, technically, nothing’s stopping me from doing that here, but lettuce doesn’t fare well in a deep freeze, which is what the weatherman’s predicting for later this week).
I watch the realty—as opposed to reality—shows on HGTV and wonder what it must be like to have an outdoor room you can use year ’round. The wicker furniture on my front porch is buried under a foot of snow right now. On my porch!
The Lord was at my elbow this morning as I looked out over the white-on-white scene. “Lord, what am I going to do about the mismatch between what my world looks like and where I wish I was?”
He whispered, “Take pictures.”
“Take pictures and send them to the young woman at church who sets up the data projection slides for worship lyric backgrounds. She’s always looking for new photography to set the stage for worship.”
Turn my heavy heart into worship? What a novel idea!
It worked. I ran outside with my camera to take advantage of my surroundings and the artistic beauty of a Creator God who thought the world would miss something if it didn’t have a place for snow and cold.
With His help, I found a way to be “content whatever my circumstances.” If I couldn’t be with the setting I loved, I could love the setting I was with—to totally butcher the song’s original lyrics.
Did I say “butcher”? Maybe “improve” is a better word. And how might that principle play out in other “hard to love” situations?
PRAYER: Lord, whether it’s an icy morning or a tough assignment or a person I’m having a hard time loving, help me find ways to love the one I’m with, to take a snapshot of the underlying beauty or the You I failed to see in the picture.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” (Philippians 4:11b NIV).
Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, writer and producer of the radio ministry THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME and Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. Cynthia’s debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—released from Abingdon Press in Spring 2010 and A Door County Christmas novella collection (Barbour Publishing) released Fall 2010. Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark. www.cynthiaruchti.com.