This last Saturday I co-officiated Meredith and Bert’s wedding in Beaumont, Texas. What a wonderful and warm couple! It was heart-warming to see what tremendous nachas Bert’s 84 year old dad, Irvin, got from my joining the celebration. Dr. Harland Merriam, Meredith’s pastor and a real pro, was a pleasure to work with too, and it was clear that a good time was had by all. Here are some of the words I shared with the couple during the ceremony:
Now, of course, I stand here at a disadvantage to Dr. Merriam, who baptized the bride, while I have known the couple for only a short while. I was struck though by a fascinating aspect of their love story. You see, one thing that both will tell you about the time they met is that neither Meredith nor Bert were looking for a serious relationship. They were co-workers, who found they had some common interests, and developed a friendship. It was only later that they started to date and fell in love.
What that reminded me of is one of the most important lessons for life, and specifically for married life. We have very limited control over our circumstances. If there is anything we as a nation and as individuals have learned over the course of the last two or three years, it is that there are many things in life that we have no control over whatsoever. We do however have control over how we choose to relate to our circumstances. In other words, we cannot choose our fate, but we can choose our destiny.
Meredith and Bert, you had no control over how you met; that was merely fate. But what is it we wish every couple – happiness – that was in your hands. You chose your destiny – to stand before us today to commit yourselves to each other for the rest of your lives. So, Meredith and Bert, thank you. Thank you for reminding us of this important lesson. Now, look into each other’s eyes. As the years go by, take a moment here and there, to do what you are doing right now. Take a moment to forget your circumstances, let what is around you melt away, and remember this very moment, remember your destiny.