Week 3: Engaging True Connection
Day 20: The Power of Extravagance
Routine is good to keep us on track everyday. But sometimes the best connection happens outside of routine. These are moments we don’t expect or predict. It’s the time we notice a sad look on our loved one’s face, and we take the time to ask about it. It’s the surprise note in your loved one’s lunch that just says “I love you” and “I’m thinking about you”. It’s the hug in the middle of the day for no specific reason, other than just to say “I want to be close to you again.”
For some of us, we need to build in more routine ways to be intentional with our connection. For others, routine is good, but we need to consider the value of extravagance at times. What is extravagance? I’m not talking about finances or gifts (although that is generally what many associate with extravagance). I’m talking about extravagant acts of love.
Extravagant is defined as unrestrained, unreasonable, or unnecessary. Is there such a thing when it comes to love? Is love ever really unnecessary? Is love ever really unreasonable?
Yes it is. And that is when it is the most beautiful kind of love.
Think about romantic movies – the scenes where the guy serenades the girl on the street corner in front of all her friends, just to say “I love you so much, I’m willing to put it all on the line.” Or the woman who dresses in her finest clothes, sets up a romantic surprise date, only to hold her breath to see how he reacts? Extravagant love is vulnerable. It is risky. It is the moment where you put it all on the line, unsure of how your loved one will react. It takes great courage. It takes thinking outside the box.
Its easy to see extravagant love in newer relationships. But most of us, if we are really honest, have gotten lazy about extravagant love. We find comfort and joy in routine (which is not necessarily bad), and we forget to think outside the box. We forget to put our heart on the line and find new ways to really say “I still love you!” Why is this even important? Perhaps it is not the act itself that matters. It is certainly not the way a person sings or the way a person dresses that creates the connection.
It is the willingness to do it that matters.
The willingness says it all – the willingness to look silly or foolish in order to pursue the most valuable things in life.
The bible paints a beautiful picture of extravagant love in John 12. Mary pours a pint of pure nard, of expensive perfume on Jesus feet, then wipes her hair with it. Not only does she take this risk, which is completely “out of the box”, but she does it in front of several of the other disciples. And it drew criticism. It drew questioning. But Jesus saw the act as a pure sign of extravagant love – so much so, that he wanted everyone to read about it for decades to come. Extravagant love has no formula. It is an act that is completely spontaneous, from the heart, and out of the box. It can be small or it can be big. But it is always risky.
Challenge for Today: Do one thing that is extravagant for a loved one today. (I challenge you to do it without spending any money).
Author: Janet Hoyt