Lasting by Toby Levering

TC - Levering 150x150It was somewhere around 1993ish.  It was a Sunday.  I was in the Teen Room at the Emporia Avenue Church of Christ.

I would like to say I remember what the lesson was about.  I do not.  Probably, the Bible or Jesus or something.  But, my brain cells were not engaged.  Don’t blame me for not paying attention.  Truth is, I was absolutely paying attention—just not to my Bible.  When I tell you what happened next, you will surely empathize.

The classroom door opened.  (In my memory, everything slows down to super-slow-mo here.  The song “There she goes” by The La’s is now playing in the background.  Everything in the room goes blurry.)  And in walks Christy Smith.  Hair flowing.  (Bring the music in your head up to full volume now).  She does a little hair toss thing and because my mind is running this flashback at 10,000fps, it takes a good 15-minutes.  In any case, I was a goner.  I’m sure Christy felt exactly the same way about me that day.  Me sitting there.  Young.  Thin.  Tan.  Muscles rippling.  But, she’s not writing the article so just take my word for it.

Remember that young, stupid-in-love feeling?  Well, the young & stupid is right.  But, despite what any chick flick movie might tell you, that was NOT love.

True love, like anything good, takes time.  Why?  Because this love is more than a fleeting feeling.  It’s a series of constant unselfish choices made over time.  Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Christy’s & my love has grown and matured through many things over 20 years.  Even though young love is exciting and great,  it’s not nearly as good as that love which has stood the test of time an life.  It is only through that process that love grows sweeter, better, and deeper.

May we at Northside be committed to growing in that love.  Not the chocolates, chick-flick and flowers kind.  But the better, deeper, more lasting kind.  The kind that loves the lost, patiently loves each other and above all loves the Lord with all we have.  “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”