If there's one thing I really do appreciate about Valentine's day, it's that I've been hearing old love songs on the radio by the Chairman of the Board and some remakes and new ones by Michael Bublé. Over the years I've employed a handful of techniques for dealing with Valentine's Day as a single guy and have now settled into one that probably glorifies God more than the others.
New Year, New Girl?
Though there were a couple of years that I'd been seeing or dating someone during Valentine's Day, several years that I wasn't occupied I was prone to look for a lady to share my life with. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the actual Valentine's Day or spring, but with the start of a new year my heart has a pull towards finding someone. As one year fades and another dawns, there's a sense of hope and a need for change I now realize makes my heart susceptible to searching hard then. It just happens that Valentine's season fall right into that part of the year and, thus, would fuel my anxiousness. Thankfully, I've learned to control my heart a little better these days.
Valentine's Day? What's That?
Let's face it, even for people that are content in their singleness, Valentine's Day brings a lot of pressure and emotion. The second thing I'd done in the past was to ignore that the day existed at all. I joined the push against the commercial holiday and went about my merry way, as plenty of folks do. It was fine, but — let's be honest — this really does make a person feel alone. I feel detached enough without putting all my effort into ignoring a day that celebrates being together, so this was an emotionally dangerous line of thinking.
More recently, God has shown me that this day doesn't have to just be for couples, but that there are several ways I can celebrate. Today I'm giving thanks for the love God has brought into my friends' lives, I praise Him for creating their love stories and blessing them with children — children that I get to play with without having to pay or provide for! I'm grateful for the time that God is giving me to prepare for eventual married life and time to spend carefree hours riding my bike or playing ultimate frisbee or playing my my french horn without obligations at home, and I'm grateful that it won't last forever. This Valentine's Day I'm reflecting on how God has pursued me and how I will pursue the lady that He leads me to.
When I was in college, most years I spent Valentine's weekend in San Antonio at the Texas Music Educator's Association's annual convention. It was great escape from classes and the smells of Beaumont, and a chance to spend time listening to the most talented student musicians in the nation. There are endless exhibits and presentations each year and, of course, a lot of my friends. The best part though, was a dinner with my mom at Casa Rio, a restaurant on the River Walk. Sometimes different friends would join us and a few years Dad would join us. It's always a special time not just because it was spent with folks I love, but because Casa Rio is where my dad proposed to my mother. God has taught me to appreciate their love for me and each other through dinner at Casa Rio as I'm a part of their continuing love story. What a blessing that is as children, even once we're grown!
It's my hope that all you singles can spend today celebrating others' loves and the love of our Father, not feeling hopeless or moping, but appreciative of God's design and plans.