Sunday, February 19, 2006
About once a month it is my honor to officiate a wedding ceremony for folks desiring to enter into the bonds of "Holy Matrimony." It seems my mind gets really preoccupied with the thoughts of how to bring each union into a faith perspective that is going to somehow assist the couple when things get tough. As we all are painfully aware marriage is not a "forever" thing these days. I spoke yesterday of how things were in the couple's grandparent's time, and about the world we live in today. One of the most personal moments for me in the process of tying another knot is sharing with the couple that no matter where or when, if they have problems in their marraige I will be there for them. So far I have only had to respond to that need once in hundreds of weddings! Fortunately for me I had an out, the couple were experiencing their second set of vows with each other and it didn't work either time. Still, I count that as a failure, not personally, but somehow I feel inside that there should have been something I could have learned before pronouncing them man & wife that might have altered the outcome. Isn't that the way of life, we always think we might have done something different. When we come out of seminary and enter into the world of service in the church we come armed with pre-marital tests, and evaluation tools that are supposed to be cutting edge materials. We also come armed with hours of counseling training and many books to assist us with the task of helping people get off on the "right" foot together. Well, experience provides lessons that no classroom could have ever foretold. The truth of the matter is this:
All of creation hinges on God's will for our lives. If we place God first and "me" second, we can build lasting relationships. These will extend to not only our spouse, but to our friends, children, and if we are truly blessed, our grands and their families. It really is simple, but in our humaness we complicate life with the "I" that we try to satisfy. I shared with a couple this morning that right smack dab in the middle of "SIN" is "I." It's a simple truth, but the more we learn about life and relationships the more apparent it becomes that to truly unite as "one" both must be willing to circumnavigate the tendency toward "I-ness!" Life isn't fair, it's not easy, but we can learn from it and grow if we are willing to set ourselves aside and let God be our guide. In Christ's Love, Preacher.