December 29 - Worth the Effort?

"Why do you work so hard to find love?" I've had people ask me this over and over again. One particular email arrived after coming home from another singles' event where I seemed invisible to the men who attended. On this night, I began to wonder the same thing myself.

I was one of those students in high school who never really had to work hard to get good grades. I actually don't remember taking books and work home. I had one study period and that apparently was enough for me to get "A"s and "B"s in school. One of my best friends at the time wasn’t so fortunate. She studied and studied and barely got by with "C"s and was thrilled when a "B" came her way. On days I wanted to go to the mall or hang out at a friends', I would urge her to come, but she often replied that she had to study. It seemed silly to me to put so much effort into school after hours when she already spent most of her day in the classroom. What a waste of time, especially when the end result was a C average.

But now I realize that just because things were easy for me I shouldn't have looked down on her because she had to work hard for the same things. I can't explain why I was so fortunate. Nor do I understand why hours and hours of studying for World History got her a C+, when 20 minutes before the test produced an A- for me. My friend may have been disappointed with her grade, but I think she was proud of her effort. I guess some people view hard work as desperation or painful, but actually it can feel good, give you a sense of purpose and build character. It challenges you to go beyond what you're currently able to do.

I have over a decade of experience of doing nothing to find a husband. From the time I was 22 years old through the age of 36, I didn't spend any effort on finding love. I lived a very full life. I had lots of friends, was social and active in my community, and even volunteered on a regular basis. I had a great job, yet didn't spend any more or less hours at work than any of the other people my age in NYC. But in those 14 years, I had only 2 dates. I'm just as happy and fulfilled with my life now as I was then. And my desire for marriage at that time was no less than or greater than my desire now. But this version of me feels good.

What has changed is my desire to see faith in action. There is a wise saying that goes, "faith without works is dead." There's something so awesome to know that God takes action when I make an effort. When I volunteer to bring in can goods for the hungry, God takes my effort and feeds others. When I respond to online suitors, I'm believing God will also use these efforts. I know I can't force God's hand. I also know that no matter how hard I work at some things, I may never see the desired end result. But I do know that faith works together with my works. Why do I work hard? Because I have faith! I'm doing what I believe to be my part and believing for the rest!