The evening of May 8, 2007 was pretty exciting.
"So, have you been over to Wal today?" asked a friendly employee at my favorite sandwich shop.
I looked across the large parking lot in the direction of a familiar discount department store. The overhead sign just said WAL. A portion of the store's facade was now a huge pile of rubble on the pavement.
"When did this happen?" I asked.
"Within the last hour, but you haven't heard the whole story. That lumber and plaster nearly hit Donna." (Donna is co-owner of the wonderful sandwich shop).
She had just come out of the department store and was near her car when she heard a loud crash. Looking back, she saw what could have been the last location she ever occupied on Earth… which starkly reminds us of the critical importance of timing. Apparently, her sense of timing is pretty good.
I have read profiles on Catholic Match where people indicate that they have given up looking for a mate and have prayed that "God will send their future spouse to them."
Actually, I can relate to this. I do not like to take the initiative on anything — especially dating. Some of us are reactors. We wait for another person to take the first action and then we offer a reaction.
There is only one problem with this. Often, when we choose to function exclusively as reactors, nothing is accomplished. Our timing with the future spouse is way off. You are doing nothing and your prospective mate is also doing… NOTHING.
God, who can see everything, is saying, "Sandra, send that first email. Let's get things going here". But, Sandra feels uncomfortable doing that.
Then, our Lord's angels approach Jimmy, "Sandra's profile just came up in the search. Send a message. Introduce yourself."
What if you and your future spouse are both reactors? What if the two of you are waiting for the other person to take the initiative and to demonstrate some leadership in the early stages of your relationship?
Someone has to conduct the searches, take the risks, and make the early contacts. Here's one way to think about all of this. For everyone registered with Catholic Match who does the leg work up front, we should promise ourselves the following: we will regularly remind our mates someday that it is their turn to demonstrate some initiative. I already know what my bride is going to do for me. She will be the first to prepare some fabulous gourmet meals!! That is what I want. I am Italian and food is important to me. If she is not into cooking, some five star restaurants will suffice. If that is not possible, then we can eat at her friend's house or her mother's house or my mother's house (just as long as she is making the arrangements).
This would be a wonderful way for our holy spouses to demonstrate appreciation considering all of the effort we have exerted and the risks we have taken in getting these relationships off of the ground.
This article is property of J. Michael Paul (2007) of Mesa, Arizona. Mr. Paul, originally from Western New York State, is a Catholic layman devoted to a twelve year self-study in prayer and its power to transform hearts.