Though this week’s total solar eclipse lasted barely .1389% (or 1/720th) of the 24-hour day that was August 21, 2017, here’s how some of my Facebook friends described it, using only three words:
- “Wow. Just wow.” – Kevin
- “God is clever.” (My runner up was “It’s getting dark.”) – Jim
- “Sun corona awesomeness” – David
- “Future Marriage University” – Steve (There’s a comedian in every crowd.)
- “Perfectly awesome design!” – Paul
- “Sun-moon dance” – Carter
- “MAN2MAN” – Christian (There are apparently two comedians in every facebook crowd.)
- “Breathtaking, glorious, awesome.”– Grant
- “More than expected.” – Stuart
- “That’s no moon!” – Obi Wan Ben Kenobi (Also contributed by Stuart, so make that three comedians.)
Of course, if you’re a science nerd you know that’s because it was a new moon, and you can’t see a new moon even on a clear night, much less during the day.
However, with a solar eclipse the moon orbits in front of the sun, so obviously you’re going to see it. Right?
Well, yes. But only for two minutes.
I don’t know about you, but I was shocked to discover I couldn’t see the moon (without my special magic glasses) even when it began to move in front of the sun. Not even when the moon was covering half the sun’s surface. Or three quarters. Or 90%.
At that 90% stage, through my NASA-approved glasses, I could see the moon left but a sliver of the sun exposed, yet without my glasses I couldn’t see the moon at all. Thanks to the blinding power of the sun. (If you weren’t able to experience it, this 1-minute time-lapse video will show you what I mean.)
Just as strange, looking around me, as the eclipse was taking place, I couldn’t have told the difference in daylight between a 90% eclipse and light cloud cover. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have had absolutely no idea the moon was anywhere in the sky above me, let alone about to shut out the light of the sun.
Not until the surface of the sun was completely obscured could you finally see the moon’s silhouette with the naked eye. Only then.
Aside from those two minutes, the sun’s light was just as overpowering as ever.
Romance is like that.
The brilliant radiance of romance is overpowering. Dangerously so.
It may not hold the power to blind your eyes, but it can oh so easily blind your brain to serious issues, red flags and even great dangers in your relationship life. As is the case with the moon in a partial eclipse, when you’re “in love” with someone, you can be staring directly at glaring warning signs and feel nothing.
Nothing, that is, but the overwhelming warmth of infatuation. The dazzling glow of romance can prevent you from recognizing maturity issues, core incompatibilities, severe lapses in integrity, addictions and abusive behaviors.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen hapless couples blinded by the IV rays (Infatuation Vision rays) of romance, who are shocked and awed when suddenly the lights go out in their relationship. Many of them are married. And in therapy. Others divorced. And in therapy. The most fortunate of those couples never make it to the altar, but their breakups are often therapy-worthy none-the-less.
You may think this could never be you. You’re too wise, experienced, savvy, careful, in control, or whatever, but this isn’t about you.
This is about the chemistry that goes on in your brain when you fall in love. It. Is. Potent.
With contacts, I have better than 20/20 vision, but seeing the moon when I’m staring at the sun isn’t about my eye sight. It’s about the physics of the sun putting out so much light, it will blind me if I stare directly at it long enough. Please heed this warning: you cannot afford to underestimate the blinding power of romance!
You need to learn how to be wise about relationships. For starters that means understanding what you’re even looking for in relationships before you go looking for it, And not just in romantic relationships, but in any relationships. Then it means learning how to prioritize friendship over romance.
Want more help than that? Of course you do, because there ain’t no NASA-approved safety device to protect your heart from the dangerous blinding light of romance.
At Future Marriage University (FMU) we have the next best thing: a Hot Topic page dedicated to empowering you to thrive in healthy relationships with family, friends and, yes, even “that special someone.”
This page acts as a gateway to other Date Night Advice (DNA) blog posts and LoveEd and MAN2MAN videos that can help you enjoy romance without missing moon-sized issues that will leave you stumbling in the dark.
So let this DNA post be the first signpost on your journey to relational success!
And don’t stare directly at the sun.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
Want to go beyond what a blog post can accomplish? The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE!
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!