Friday, June 23, 2006

Love the One You're With

Only in the 1960s era of "make love, not war," only in the long-haired hippie commune generation, only in the song-stylings of Crosby, Stills, and Nash could one get away with lyrics such as "If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with." Normally, I would have nothing but contempt for such a fickle, conditional, contextual concept of love.

But recently, I've been pondering the benefits of this philosophy.

Before I left for my month-long journey to America, I had been feeling anxious and unsettled -- worried to leave what had become a comfortable rhythm of life in Holland and concerned that I might find my native land suddenly foreign and uncomfortable. However, after a few short weeks of being "back home" in Ohio, I discovered that these fears were unfounded. In fact, the time in America was wonderful -- better than expected -- and I reveled and relaxed in the presence of familiar people, places, and customs. It was like closing my eyes, smiling, and swaying to an old favorite song on the jukebox...

So much so that I didn't want the song to end. By the end of my time in America, I started feeling anxious and unsettled again -- this time worried about leaving the comfortable (though only shortly established) rhythm of life in the United States and concerned that I might go back to a very foreign and uncomfortable scenario in the Netherlands. But once again, I've discovered over the last few days of being "back home" in Amsterdam that my fears from the other side of the ocean were largely unfounded. Although there have certainly been some challenges (primarily with jet lag and crabby children) -- it's been great to be back in our own home, sleeping in our own beds, getting caught up again with our circle of friends and faith.

So it turns out that the grass can actually appear to be greener on this side of the fence at times! So you see, if you can't be with the one I love -- well, maybe it's better to simply love the one you're with.


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