There’s a couple in my apartment complex that I see walking together every day. The reason I noticed this couple isn’t simply because of how how they walk, but their consistency. Every day I saw them walking, hand in hand around the complex, usually frowning, not saying anything to each other, I wondered why they even bother if they were going to take that attitude about it. Who does someting they don’t feel like doing everyday?
We all do, in some way. I know there are days I don’t feel like going to work, yet I go. I don’t feel like working out, but I do. As a Christian, there are many things that I have to do that I may not feel like doing that day, like getting up early on a Saturday morning to help out at an event, or getting up early Sunday morning for church.
I often wonder at what point in their walk I catch these people. I’m on my way home from work when I see them; maybe they’ve just gotten off as well. Maybe the bad temperment of the work day is still upon them. Maybe their mind is still on something that happened in the office. I know I like to come home, kick off my shoes, watch TV or read a bit before I want to jump into conversation or feel up to being nice. I’m just tired. Maybe they are as well.
One thing I’ve figured out about me, though, is that once I’m there (wherever there happens to be), I’m fine. I have all sorts of aches and pains and can’t possibly go…until I’m there. This is true whether I’m talking about going to work, the gym, church…wherever. I just have to get over my initial hump, and I’m fine.
I’ve been told that in a marital relationship, there are plenty of times when you won’t feel the warm fuzzy feelings for your mate, times when you really don’t feel like being bothered: you’ve just had a fight or a bad day at work, or maybe it’s just one of those funks that people can get into. You’ll experience times where the last thing you want to do is hold your spouse’s hand and walk around the same complex you walk around every day. You may even mutter to yourself as you put on your walking shoes. You may frown most of the time. You may think of a thousand things that you would rather do. But the hope is that by being consistent, by finding that time to be together, you can eventually work your way out of your funk and back into a loving relationship that requires a little less effort to enjoy.
I imagine this is why date night is always stressed to married couples. It’s important not to lose hold of each other’s hand in the midst of being employees, parents, friends, volunteers, and family members to others.
I think that when we lose that feeling, our society makes it easier than ever before to just give up; this must not be the person for me if I’m unhappy at any point, ever. Yet we stick with other things in life that make us miserable before they make us happy, only to make us miserable again: school, work, etc. We don’t begrudge them time spent when we would rather do something else because we want the reward of our diligence–a degree, opportunities, a pay check, a raise, a bonus. Yet we don’t take the same attitude towards relationships; those are just supposed to work without any effort. That’s ridiculous.
One of these days, I hope to be a little later in their walk. Maybe he mentions something at work that is bothering him and she says just the right thing to put it into perspective for him. Maybe they talk about a friend she is concerned about. Maybe by the time I see them, they are sharing one of those secret couple’s smiles that only they know the meaning off. Maybe they swing their joint hands like happy school children. Or maybe they just go home, leaving their discontent to wander around the complex while they enjoy the rest of the time spent in each other’s company.