A few days ago a friend introduced me to a blog called The Happiness Project, in which the author talks about her pursuit of happiness, and especially her 12 Personal Commandments. I was inspired to make my own list of Personal Rules and now am going about the task of explaining what they mean to me.
My first rule, “It’s all foreplay,” is a difficult one to explain, mostly because of number 10. But yes, I mean it literally, in the sexual sense of the word. But I mean it in other ways, too.
We know how daily tasks can take on an air of excitement and joy when there is a real purpose to it. When there is a payoff. Why do you wash his clothes every week? Why does he change the oil in your car? (Or whatever tasks you have to do.) Why do you do them? Because you love each other! You care! And we know that it never hurts to remind our mates with a little wink that their hard work and expressions of love will be appreciated later. Greatly appreciated. (wink)
No, I’m not saying you have to earn intimacy! No, wait. I am saying that. You have to earn intimacy. You absolutely have to earn it. Relationships take work. Good relationships take a lot of work. You have to show your love. You have to speak it, act it out daily, do for each other. You have to work! But, it’s good work if you can get it. (wink if you want)
What I’m trying to say is that the things you do for your loved ones is important, because it is the daily working out of your affection and commitment to them.
Which leads me to the other meaning of “It’s all foreplay.” Raise your hand if you believe in heaven. Uh huh. Me, too. The Great Wedding Feast? Yep. The church as the Bride of Christ? Same here. Interesting biblical language, don’t you think?
My faith is about what has happened in the past, what is happening now, and what will happen in the future – eternity. Eternity is big. A lot is going to happen in the future. So much so that this “now time” is actually very small in comparison.
That said, what we do in this small now time is not insignificant. It is more important than we can know. Why do we go to work? Why do we care for our families? Why do we help the poor? And how do these big and small acts of love done here on earth impact eternity? I honestly don’t know, except to say that I believe with all my heart there are payoffs. Big payoffs. Eternal payoffs. (metaphysical wink)
No, I don’t think the New Heaven and New Earth will be one big orgy. Silly. But I do think that what we experience here on earth sexually with our mates, along with our loving non-sexual relationships, reflects something very important about God, something more important than rewards for our good works:
Oneness with another, sacrificial love, wanting to do for someone because you love them and enjoy being the recipient of their love. These things are true in our relationships and they are true with God. In fact, they are true in our relationships because they are true with God. God is love. What we do now counts.
And so, it’s all foreplay.