Monday, December 06, 2010

Wedding Round Table

I made some new friends this weekend at a wedding.  We sat down at a round table for the rehearsal dinner and had a grand old time.  When I told them I like to read and write, one of them asked me what I write.  You all read my blog; what do I write?  “Do you write about life?” he asked.  Ummm… 

Well, I do write about life, a little bit, but only as a frame for saying something else.  I wish I could do narrative but I’m just not patient enough to tell the details.  And that eliminates comedy, too.  So I write essays and devotionals, little windows into the philosophical ponderings that hit me while I’m brushing my teeth.  Too bad I wasn’t so eloquent with my new friends.  I ended up stammering something about philosophy (one of the top “categories” on my blog). 

And then a young man to my left, wearing a plaid button-up shirt and smart-looking glasses asked me what kind of philosophy I write about.  I got the impression that I was shrinking while his height soared until in my mind he was more like the clock-tower of a university than a groomsman at my friend’s wedding.  I’ve never taken a smidgen of philosophy in school.  I haven’t read Plato or Aristotle or Bacon, let alone anyone modern.  I went to Focus on the Family’s Truth Project, a worldview video series, and I listen to Ravi Zacharias sometimes.  What do you mean, “what kind of philosophy?” 

So I think my writing may be more philosophical than philosophy proper.  It’s abstract.  I can pour out a bit of logical reasoning in a snap.  And imaginative speculation, that I can do. 

And then I tried to think of an example.  I suppose God wanted me to forget the topic of ecclesiology temporarily, though that’s an interesting and frequent subject on my blog.  Lately I’ve been writing more about little things about life.  My philosophy has always tended to the social and spiritual sides.  On the spot, I searched my memory for one of the most popular posts on this blog.  And the first one I thought of was Falling in Respect. 

To summarize, I springboarded off the book title, Love and Respect, which book suggests that respect is to men what love is to women, in a marriage.  And I thought, long ago, why don’t we make stories about “falling in respect” since we have so many stories about “falling in love.”  At a wedding, where both the Bride and Groom have pursued a sober and intentional course in their relationship while they’re both mythology-loving romantics, comparing love and respect and their portrayal in Disney movies versus Grimm’s Fairy Tales was the perfect topic of conversation. 

Our table also enjoyed the pleasant mixture of newly married sweethearts and single but idealistic men and women to balance the perspectives (sort of; nothing can beat the experience of an elder). 

Highlights of the conversation:
Levels of love, beginning with a merely physical, chemical attraction.
The level of love justifying marriage can barely be compared to the level of love reached after half a century of marriage.
Did Sleeping Beauty fall in love, or did she waken to a prince who’d slain dragons and persevered and sacrificed and risked his way into the castle to save her? 
What grade does Disney’s Beauty and the Beast get for the hero and heroine falling in love the “right” way? 
Which usually comes first? Love or respect? 
Can respect be as unconditional as love?
How much is either love or respect a choice?
Can you be surprised in respect like you can be in love?

To God be all glory.

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