“I am not the master of my heart; it has been captured and drawn out of its comfortable resting place, stretched and bounced like a plaything” (Longing to Love, p. 125).
Thus Tim Muldoon describes how it has felt for him to first of all fall in love with Sue, and now with their child. For most men in U.S. culture, loss of control is a crucial issue. It’s quite uncomfortable to not feel as if he is the master of his own heart. This is probably why men are so famous for fighting commitment in relationship—they sense their very selves slipping from their own grasp. This is scary for women, too.
It requires trust to fall into someone’s arms—like when a child jumps into the pool, knowing that Dad is there to catch her. When two people marry, they know that all sorts of falls are ahead: the mistakes and failures, catastrophes over which they have no control, even the physical illnesses and accidents that so often accompany aging. More and more, we learn to trust that this other person has our best interests at heart, that he or she will not check out when we need help or hope.
Maybe, as we learn to fall in love with people, we can relate that to God as well. When we feel ourselves holding back in fear and doubt, we can ask ourselves, “Do I believe that God’s purposes are focused on my well-being? Would God create me and give me good work to do in this world—and then not be there when I’m falling?”
And a person can observe herself in relationships and ask, “Do I act like someone who will be there to catch the other when he or she falls? Do others see me as someone they can count on? Do they feel that if they give me their hearts, I will treat them gently?”
Try to notice this week when you are trying to regain control of something. Try to notice especially what is going on in your heart—are you open and trusting, or closed and suspicious?