Growing, Not Dying

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Devotion

Recently a word caught my attention, one I had never really considered previously.

Devotion.

Many of us have preconceived ideas around words. Different emotions arise, images, experiences. For the purpose of clearer communication, let us start off with a common understanding.

de·vo·tion

1.profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc.: the devotion of one's wealth and time to scientific advancement.

Devotion speaks of commitment, but more than a mere loyalty. It is a tie, a binding. It implies deep feelings. When those feelings are affection, admiration, and a sincere desire to see the other person succeed in a relationship you have the base ingredients for a more than stellar relationship.

Now I'm not talking about that song from Grease where she's "Hopelessly Devoted," or some misplaced attachment stalker thing. Let's be clear. For those 'out of this world', 50+ years and still look like newly wed kind of relationships both people have to be devoted. You see commitment stays because it has to. Devotion stays because it can't imagine any other way of life! Joy and happiness are here now. Devotion wants to be here. Loyalty and honor are great, but devotion implies hope. It knows there is more. More what? Joy? Happiness? Love? All of the above!

When one person is devoted, you have hope. When both are devoted, you have heaven on Earth. Why? Because devotion is willing to work, to progress, even change. Devotion is often used in religious or spiritual context. Religion is suppose to be about spiritual change, becoming, drawing nearer to- whether that be nearer God, or Source, or just 'the other side' it is about moving. That is what marriage was designed to be. The progress of two people working together, encouraging each other to become better people drawing nearer to each other and nearer to a higher purpose.

It has recently become clearer to me that this is what our society has been lacking. Devotion to one another. Our divorce rate is epidemic. Children are left questioning and insecure. Hearts are broken, hope wanes and good people walk away feeling like failures because they didn't even know what was missing. They had love, but somewhere it just kind of died out. There was no true devotion

Devotion stands firm in the ebb and flow of infatuation, hard times, passion, fun, luck, play, work, and just plain life. It does not give up, on the other person, the possibilities, or hope. When one is devoted they are willing to seek change, not in compromising who they are or their values, but in enriching the relationship. If that means seeking help or education, encouraging a new hobby in their spouse, finding things to do together, becoming creative. Whatever it is, devotion tries it.

If who you believed to be God appeared to you in a way you found absolutely undeniable, told you everything you ever wanted was possible and asked you to preform a task for Him(her/it/whatever,) wouldn't you do whatever was needed to complete that task? What if it involved knowledge you did not have? Skills you didn't know? What if you plain didn't know how to begin? Would you ask someone who may have the knowledge you need? Perhaps someone whose done it? Let's pretend no one has ever done whatever this thing is before, like Noah building the huge old ark and sticking hundreds of animals on it. Could you begin? Could you take a first step? Could you do one small thing today to at least begin to walk that path?

What can you do today to make your relationship a little bit better than yesterday?

Devotion. Think about it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Marcos said...

This day and age, there is a lot of talk about the lack of devotion. But there is another piece of that puzzle that people don't like to talk about. The fact that in order for devotion to work, you have to have made wise decisions in the first place. Using devotion as a way to smooth over poor decisions is a recipe for disaster.

As an example, part of the reason marriages are not working as they once did is two-fold. It isn't just that people aren't trying. Its also that people are trying to navigate poor judgment and mistakes of the past. People get married for all the wrong reasons, and when those reasons fall, so does the marriage. No amount of devotion will fix what never should have been. Finding new reasons is good. Thats something that should happen as a matter of course in any marriage. Making wiser choices about who and why to marry is better.

Tue Aug 26, 02:51:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes, wisdom should be used when choosing a partner in the first place and not all errors in judgments can be "fixed" through devotion and education, but I think many can, certainly many more than we are seeing. How can I believe that? I have seen too many marriages go bad, even as far as dissolving, only to be repaired and turned into great happiness, including my own. There are choices. The past may hold mistakes, but that does not instantly mean there is no hope of a bright future.

Tue Aug 26, 04:33:00 PM MDT  

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