We cannot control what God, the Romancer, is up to, but there is a posture we can take. There is an openness to this stage that will enable us to recognize and receive the wooing. So let me ask—are you willing to let go of your insistence to control, meaning, to allow for a life that exists beyond the realm of analysis, to let some portions of your life be impractical, to cease evaluating all things based on their utility and function? Coming closer to the heart, are you willing to let passion rise in you, though undoubtedly it may unnerve you? To permit the healing of some of your deepest wounds? To let yourself be run through as with a rapier by Beauty itself? Are you willing, at some level, to be undone?
Then we may proceed.
To enter into the Romance we must slow down, or we will miss the wooing. Turn off the news and put on some music. Take a walk. Take up painting, or writing or reading poetry. Better still, what was it that stirred your heart over the years? Go and get it back.
This is hard to do, especially for men who are out conquering the world. But remember—what the evil one does to a good warrior if he cannot keep him in the battle is to bury him with battles. Wear him down with fight after fight. But life is not all about the battle. The Romance is always central. Listen again to David:
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. (Ps. 27:3–4 NIV)
He knows battle, knows what it is to have God come through for him. He does not fear it; he is confident as a seasoned warrior is confident. But, he does not make it his heart’s desire. What he seeks is not battle—what he seeks is the romance with God. “To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.” For we must remember: the battle is for the Romance. What we fight for is the freedom and healing that allow us to have the intimacy with God we were created to enjoy. To drink from his river of delights.