I attended a wedding earlier today – scratch that – I officiated a wedding earlier today.
Here’s the deal – I think I’ve probably officiated 100 or so weddings in my life – so in and of itself, officiating a wedding isn’t that big of a deal to me. I mean don’t get me wrong – I have been honored to do each and every wedding I’ve officiated, and all of them are a big deal… I’m just saying officiating a wedding is not something out of the ordinary for me… OK, back to the story…TONIGHT’S WEDDING MOVED ME.
At first I couldn’t even really put my finger on what it was that was so profound to me. I mean it was a great venue (but I’ve been to great venues before)… It was somewhat small, it was quaint, everybody there seemed to really like each other… Thinking through it, though, I think there are a couple of things that really spoke to me… The first is simply their story – which is INCREDIBLE! The things they’ve been through, seen, experienced, endured… it’s powerful (but not mine to tell)… but I don’t even think that’s fully it… When it comes down to it, I think it was simply the way they looked at each other through the entire ceremony. There was a place where I made the statement somewhere along the lines of “Love is saying – I CHOOSE YOU – no matter what” And their eyes were fixed on each other – and it was BEAUTIFUL (I get a front row seat to these kind of things ya know) 🙂
When they said their vows (which they wrote) – they meant them.
But again, it was the WAY they looked at each other… Both of them were like, “I get to be with you forever…” And it touched my soul… And I saw that “Love Works.” And I was reminded that Love is patient and kind and isn’t proud or rude and it doesn’t keep score (that’s in the Bible if you wanna check it out a little more… 1 Corinthians 13)… And I was reminded that vulnerability is a good thing – a great thing actually – but its scary at the same time… and that’s part of what makes it great!
So that said – I had a moment! Then I drove home (after a good dinner) 🙂
My drive was about an hour – and although I am quite extraverted, I do have some introverted tendencies… I can get lost in my thoughts pretty easily… I actually enjoy driving by myself, gathering my thoughts, talking to myself… you know, that kind of stuff.
So I began to reflect (which is what I do a lot)… I reflected on my last 6 months, my last year, my last 2 years, my last 5 years, 10 years… you get the picture. I reflected on things that have touched my heart, things that have made me laugh, things that have made me cry… things that have pissed me off and things I didn’t understand…
I’ve had A LOT of GREAT moments… A LOT!!!! So many GREAT memories. Too many kid and family stories to share… vacations, holidays, childbirth (not mine – I don’t remember that one…). I’ve been privileged to lead worship as well as speak/teach and share the Gospel to thousands of people. I’ve shot under par several times, caught a salmon on Lake Michigan, and I’ve been to NUMEROUS sporting events…
Back on the daddy note, even earlier this morning when I was cleaning the garage a bit, I stumbled across one of Lexi’s first school back-packs, and so I thought of her first day of Kindergarten. I heard the song “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman for the first time on the radio on the way and BAWLED my eyes out (google it, it’s a tear jerker). In another box I found the little foam glasses Nixon had to wear when he was in NICU for 9 days after he was born… A cassette tape of songs we sang to him so the nurses could play it if he cried and we weren’t there… scary moments, but great moments at the same time.
So many memories – so many moments…
I got the news just 2 days ago that a dear dear friend of mine, and a man I greatly respect, had to (got to) sing his wife into the arms of Jesus… they have been married 65 years or so. Beautiful and gut-wrenching at the same time.
I’ve had moments in the last few years where it was everything I could do to get out of bed. I dealt with some serious depression, and I don’t throw that word around lightly. I had friends and family surround me in my greatest hours of need, yet still felt like I didn’t have a friend in the world at the same time (if that even makes sense).
I’ve rejoiced with friends who have gotten married and I’ve cried with those who have experienced divorce. I’ve visited couples in the hospital having their first child (when they weren’t supposed to be able to have babies) and I’ve seen other’s struggle with infertility. I’ve performed weddings for kids I had in my youth group and I’ve performed funerals for a 1 year old and a 9 year old…
I’ve had friends who were declared cancer free (and rejoiced with them) and I’ve had friends who found out “we found a new growth” – and it SUCKS!!!
I got to see the Sooners make the Final Four in basketball and football, the Thunder were OH SO CLOSE to making the NBA finals… then I also experienced KD’s betrayal as he signed with Golden State (too soon??) 🙂
So what in the world does all of this mean????
To be honest – I DON’T REALLY KNOW! Other than the fact that life is made up of moments… good ones and bad ones. And the bad ones don’t have to overshadow or take away from the good ones. Most of us have all tasted the thrill of new adventures… we’ve experienced HOPE for tomorrow, but we’ve also tasted the pill of rejection and/or betrayal… and the good is good, and the bad is bad… and there’s a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to tear down and a time to rebuild (Ecclesiastes 3 has a bigger list).
All this said, as I reflected on all these moments, the good and the bad, I have been overwhelmed with the gratitude that no matter what has happened, no matter what my experience, what my moment, God has been alongside me every single step of the way… I sure didn’t always see it/feel it at the time… but He has been there – He is faithful (even when I haven’t been)… And what does that do? It gives me hope for tomorrow – because I’m going to continue making and experiencing new moments – there are GREAT DAYS AHEAD… There are times when I’ll laugh my face off and times I will cry my eyes out… but they are moments, and they shape me, and they grow me, and they mature me, and they make me, well – me. And I think I’m ok with that!
May God continue to be your treasure (Matthew 13:44-46)