Sunday, April 3, 2011

If You Ever Get a Second Chance in Life

A few weeks ago I posted my remarks from Meredith and Bert’s wedding. At their wedding I met Howard, Bert’s brother, and his fiancée, Abigail. They loved the ceremony, and they asked me to their private ceremony on the Island of St. Martin. Here the remarks I shared with them earlier this week:

Abigail and Howard, at Meredith and Bert's wedding, I talked about fate vs. destiny, the things that just happen to us vs. the true choices we make. That evening and in subsequent conversations you talked about the various twists and turns of fate and destiny, in your lives as individuals and as a couple. There was no mistaking the sense of true destiny you now share in your relationship.

This brought to mind one of the most inspiring messages I ever read. The funny thing is that having pored for years over ancient texts in yeshivah and scholarly modern texts in academia, I found this in a book by a biker, Lance Armstrong's book, It's Not About the Bike - My Journey Back to Life. He recounts his first words to journalists on the Champs Elysees, after winning his first Tour de France, "If you ever get a second chance in life, you've got to go all the way!" "If you ever get a second chance in life, you've got to go all the way!"

I, personally, have found these words tremendously meaningful. They could describe many aspects of my life the last few years. If I may be so bold, from our discussions I perceive that this could be a motto for you as a couple too. Now, this saying really has two parts to it. The first part speaks of the recognition of the fact that you have been given a second chance. It is at that moment that you take mere fate, and recognize that it could give you a shot at destiny. The second part of the saying is the crux; you take action, seize your destiny, just as you did, and go all the way. It would be no exaggeration to say that this is the only way one can truly lay claim to having lived a fulfilling life.

So, standing here, just the three of us, I challenge you and encourage you to continue living your life in such a fashion. Resolutely, grab on to and savor life together, and go all the way.

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