Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bill Cosby on Marriage: A Church Application

In his book, "Love and Marriage", Bill Cosby wrote the following:
"Where are you going?" I say to her as she gets up from a dinner table and starts to leave people I am entertaining.
"To anyplace," she softly says to me, "where I don't have to hear this story for the ninety-seventh time.
This moment reveals the ultimate challenge for a woman in a marriage: to accept it for the re-run it is but keep herself from canceling the show.

I read this quote and immediately thought about how often I hear people complain that they hear the same things over and over again at church. I guess my only response is that I look for newness on my own; I look for familiarity and insight when I'm with others. There is a difference between newness and insight, and it's too easy to confuse the two.

At this point in my marriage, I don't get much newness from my wife - and she doesn't get much newness from me. I do get lots and lots of insight from her - probably more than she gets from me.

That's true, probably, about those with whom I attend church. They don't get much newness from me, but I hope they get some insight - and I am positive I get more insight from their collective whole than they get from singular me.

I know my marriage and my church consist mostly of re-runs at this point in my life, and I do want to get up sometimes and avoid hearing that particular story for the 97th time, but I love the show and don't want to cancel it. I guess church for me is a lot like M*A*S*H *- a great show I like watching no matter how many times I've seen it before. It makes me laugh; it makes me cry; it makes me shake my head; it makes me nod my head; it makes me cringe; it makes my soul expand. I love it for its complexity - especially for the times I hear something for the 98th time and realize I never really understood it until then.


Christy said...

I am grateful that there isn't something new, I find great peace in knowing that God's laws do not change. And what would we want that's new? More commandments? I have enough trouble keeping the ones we already have! But alas, always the same thing. It becomes a challenge for a seminary teacher.

Frank Pellett said...

This reminds me of a story told by Elder Eyring about a man he knew who, during his visits, would write furiously in his notebook. Elder Eyring noted that the man also wrote just as furiously listening to a child give a talk in primary as he did listening to the president of a college.

The spirit teaches us all, helping us to increase what knowledge and understanding we have - if we let it.

Dallas, Dad, Big D & I said...

Sometimes things don't "click" in our understanding untill other things have fallen into place first. Kind of like our parents telling us that old age isn't for sissies and we smile and agree, but until we feel the vicissitudes of old age for ourselves we don't get it. So whether I hear something a hundred or a thousand times and think I understand and have "got it" there is always a time later when I have that ah ha experience with that same thing. Sometimes more than once.

Mama D said...

"I do get lots and lots of insight from her - probably more than she gets from me."

I respectfully disagree. :)

But I do agree that at this point in our marriage, we don't need the "newness" as much as we need the "insight."

However, there is a certain comfortable-ness in the re-runs of life, whether it's at church or in a marriage or other circumstances. I think the key is learning to appreciate both (the newness and insight) and not "canceling the show."