Higher And Higher

Some songs just make you smile, don’t they?

The name Jackie Wilson may not immediately bring a face to mind or a song, but for me those first few bars of his classic, “Higher and Higher,” strike a chord of recognition. It’s just so fun.

(You might want to take a minute and go watch this great video that syncs Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth dancing to this great song – it’ll make your day brighter, I promise.)

It’s a pretty common theme in my life that people recognize how much better I am because of the woman that chose to love me for life. I get what Mr. Wilson was putting down. He said that this love keeps on lifting him higher and higher and higher.

I know that feeling. My beloved has a way of encouraging me, helping me, motivating me to reach for more. Just like Jack Nicholson’s neurotic character blurted out in the romantic comedy, “As Good As It Gets,” I find myself thinking it time and time again:

“You make me want to be a better man.”

(You can watch that clip here if you need a refresher.)

She really does. I keep trying to incorporate better disciplines because she deserves it. I want to take better care of her and for her because she is so precious to me. Her love does indeed keep lifting me, boosting me, drawing me on to better, higher, deeper… more.

When I think about it, I have had a number of relationships—family members, friends, and such that have had an elevating impact upon my life. People have cared about me and helped me and encouraged me in such a way that I have grown through those connections. But really that is the nature of genuinely loving someone. Love does that.

One of the great wonders of the grace of God is that He loves us unconditionally just the way we are. But it is equally a wonder that He loves us so much that He is always drawing us higher, continuing to transform by His amazing grace every follower of His to be more and more and more like Jesus. THAT is truly being lifted HIGHER and HIGHER.

We used to sing a hymn pretty often that expresses that same idea, “Love Lifted Me.” It was about the way the love of God was a rescuing force to bring us life. It’s a response to the hope of the good news that Jesus, God’s Son, died to give us life that goes on beyond this world.

This whole marriage thing, of course, was God’s idea. I’m pretty convinced that it was because we learn more about our failures and shortcomings when we share life closely with someone… and at the same time we are challenged to grow. Love keeps lifting us higher and higher. Right on, Mr. Wilson. Right on indeed.

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