I enjoy going to places by myself.
I can go solo to a restaurant and not worry that someone is going to feel sorry for me or think I don’t have friends. When I was single, I loved going to the movies all alone.
In fact, I developed the perfect system, so get a pen ready. First, I’d pick an early showing so there would be fewer people in the theater.
I only drink a handful of sodas a year, so it was a special treat for me to get one at the movies. I’d get a small popcorn with a box of whoppers and mix them together. Sugar and sweet combine with such wonder that it would make me want to run into a wall and render myself unconscious.
I walk all the way up to the top without turning left or right and that is where I park it. No one kicks your chair and you can stretch your legs in the aisle. That is the perfect way to see a movie.
I remember the first movie I went to with my now-wife Jazen.
It was 1999 (as the Prince song enters your mind) and we went with a group of friends. She was late so I got her a ticket and waited while the others went in. A smooth move to be sure. Backfired though, she still hasn’t paid me back. Anyway, though everyone was sitting in the wrong place, it was a good time.
With that in mind, I wonder what would’ve happened if we went to a movie on our first date and we did things “our way.” It may have not been pretty. I can see it now: “Jazen, what do you mean that we should sit in the middle?” “Ray, why do you want to go at 10:00 a.m.?” “Jazen, are you really sure you want a sip of one of the few sodas I’ll have this year?” I think that if we picked this as our first date…well, yeah. We’ll chalk it up to divine intervention that it was a good while before we saw another movie together. It gave me time to get used to quirks like her wanting to have some of my popcorn and whopper mixalicious.
The reality is, when we met, I had a way I liked to do things, so did she. So, what if our relationship just became about whose ways won out over the other? Well, that sounds like it’d be pretty foolish.
But isn’t that what so many of us do whether it is with a spouse, a friend, a coworker or even a stranger.
We feel that our way is right, makes sense and is just plain better. As a result, relationships are torn apart by surface-level things like how the thermostat should be set.
We would often rather be right than our relationships be right.
I could go on, but I’ll close with this.
The best steps Jazen and I have ever taken happened when one of us went ahead and let go of “our way.” And the only reason we’ve ever done this is because we follow a God who tells us this is the better way. We just feel He knows better than us even when our actions seem to say otherwise.
In a manner of speaking, I guess I could’ve just stayed with my perfect way of seeing movies. The thing is, I just want something better than my way. Don’t you?
By Ray Miranda