On the 18th of May, Bev and I went to Franklin, Tennessee for the wedding of our granddaughter, Jenna, on the 21st. It was a hectic but sweet event, with all the right ingredients sprinkled over it. Here are some reflections on the three days.
Time with family is really important. In a moment, or even several moments, it doesn’t seem that important because work, friends, and distraction keep one’s attention focused elsewhere. But when you reflect on lost months or years the realization of the cost is stunning.
Next to family, one’s faith community is also important. We got to see how important this was as our granddaughter’s friends of several years stood beside her in the ceremony, gifted her with presents of love, and made sure that she had every need supplied. Watching a mosh pit of joy develop as Uptown Funk played and a big group of church friends danced together showed the power and influence of companions. Singing Bruno Mars lyrics in unison really is a picture of the church at its best.
Jenna’s youth pastor presided at the wedding. He reminded them of the commitments of marriage using the Fast and Furious movie franchise to illustrate. The sermon was equal parts funny and serious, but he caught the significance of one person saying to another that I will love you in spite of……. To hear those words is one of the most centering and comforting experiences one can have. If Jenna and Evan keep their promises, they will have many years of struggle, but also growth. That is how we humans progress – through struggle.
Time is the most priceless commodity we have. It is more precious than gold, property, education, expensive cars, and chic clothing. It cannot be hoarded. It cannot be traded. When we think we have plenty of it left, we don’t. Samuel Johnson is credited with saying, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” How sad it is that we so often don’t appreciate time before the crisis. When we have the luxury of pleasant conversation and shared ideas.
I knew but was reminded of three important ideas. 1) We should persistently seek the company and conversation of people about whom we care deeply. 2) Virtually nothing is more important than people. Even Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath” to underscore the importance of humanity in God’s scheme of things. And 3) relationships of value require hard work, persistence, and even suffering to endure and grow.
There are no shortcuts.