(Cover art courtesy of davidccook.org)
Walk toward the Music
Taken from Sacred Search by Gary Thomas. Copyright © 2021 by Gary Thomas. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved. davidccook.org
My wife and I arrived in Baden-Baden, Germany, late on a sum- mer evening. Our hotel sat in the middle of a pedestrian district that, except for a couple restaurants and gelato parlors, shut down by 8:00 p.m. We weren’t ready to call it a night and wondered what we should do.
In the distance, I could barely hear the faint sound of some music. “Hey,” I suggested, “let’s walk toward the music. Something must be going on.”
Boy, was there! About a quarter mile away social energy buzzed as an outdoor concert serenaded twelve to fifteen makeshift restaurants just outside Baden-Baden’s famous casino. The small festival wel- comed all the tourists who were there for the horse races that weekend. Apparently, one of the reasons the pedestrian area was drained of all activity was because the concert had sucked everybody over there.
“Walking toward the music” isn’t a bad philosophy of life. Doors might seem closed, the evening might seem prematurely over, but if you can catch a glimpse of nightlife or the sound of music in the distance, why not walk toward it and see what you find?
Some Christians find themselves in a dating dead end. There’s no one suitable where they work or at their church. For their own reasons, they refuse to look at any online dating options. Instead of putting themselves in social environments where they might find someone, they start to feel bitter and angry and blame God for not bringing the right one along.
Your passivity is not God’s fault. Walk toward the music. See what you find. Become proactive, intentional, and even energetic about finding someone to marry. When God, through Scripture, asks young men, “A wife of noble character who can find?” (Prov. 31:10), the entire assumption is that such a pursuit involves a serious search.
I asked people on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ authorgarythomas) how they met their spouses and if their meeting was intentional. There were hundreds of responses, but here are a few, just to give you some ideas:
Church meetings—such as Bible studies, worship services, small groups, and singles’ events—were the most popular places to meet.
Chrystal, Terrell, Leila, Christina, and a whole bunch of others met their future spouses via online dating websites, the second most common answer. Ebony responded to a personal ad.
Friends or relatives (the third most common answer) set many couples up. One couple met via a company commander in Iraq! “Walking toward the music” could thus involve actively letting friends and family members know you’d welcome introductions.
Work was another common place to meet. Melissa was working at a home improvement store when she noticed a “cute loader.” So she did some background research, found out what he liked, and inte- grated it into their next conversation.
Meredith saw Patrick on a mission trip, got up the courage to sit next to him, and took an interest in the music he was listening to. Then she put her phone number in his phone. It’s been there ever since.
Shanice met her husband at an “anti-Valentine’s Day” party, where partygoers weren’t allowed to bring a date. She had seen her future husband on a social media site and made sure her roommate invited him so she could meet him in person.
Elaine met her eventual husband through mutual comments on Facebook. Their answers to the same post were intriguing enough that they decided to meet in person.
Chuck likely has the most creative story ever: his wife was a new FBI agent, and he was a prosecutor. They met while trying to solve a kidnapping!
As you can see, not all of these meetings were intentional. But the variety demonstrates how important it is to keep your eyes open—at church, school, work, and even online. By all means, keep praying, but also let others know you’re interested.
I’m not pretending the search is easy. It’s not. In fact, dating can be brutally tough. And I’m not minimizing the experience of so many who write and ask me, “Where are the men and women who want what you talk about in The Sacred Search?” There may not be a hundred people that agree with your goals in life and want to marry you, but here’s the thing: you only need one. You don’t have to find a dozen. You don’t even have to find two. For a suitable marriage, you just need one.
The message is this: just because it’s difficult to find someone, don’t go back to your hotel room and call it a night. Walk toward the music. Make the effort. It’s worth it.