Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shared Destiny

Saturday I officiated Julia and Jeremiah’s wedding ceremony at The Venetian Terrace in Las Colinas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests, some of whom came all the way from the Promised Land:

Math was never my strong suit, and geometry... Let's just say if I am never in great shape in that area... (See what I just did?) That said, I do remember one fact in particular, don't ask me why. Two parallel lines on the plane will never ever meet; no ifs, buts or maybes. The thing is, because we don't live on this theoretical mathematical plane, we can't really draw totally parallel lines. What looks like parallel lines to the naked eye, are in fact not; at some point they will meet.

Now, you might wonder: what on earth does any of this have to do with Julia and Jeremiah? I am glad you asked. The fact is that if you "roll back the tape" just a few years, Julia and Jeremiah, to the naked eye, would seem like those parallel lines on the plane. You would have been forgiven for thinking that this Jewish Russian artist financier would come together with this American Southern truck driver writer. But come together they did... Not only did they come together, but they came together at exactly the right time for both of them. The table was set for great things to come.

Now, moving away from mathematics to philosophy, what happens next is what really matters. You see, call it God, luck or fate, once you come together, you have a choice to make. Luck only takes you to that point where you could just be ships passing in the night. As the Ancient Romans said, the gods help those who help themselves. You need to seize fate, which is what happens to you, and transform it into destiny, which is what happens when you act upon random fate, and imbue it with meaning.

This is exactly what Julia and Jeremiah did. Now, my first draft of the end of the last sentence read, "destiny, which is what happens when you act upon random fate, and imbue it with action and meaning." Then I reminded myself that really sometimes fate can look active, while forging your destiny can seem passive. Destiny is more about imbuing what happens through action or inaction with new meaning. Julia and Jeremiah were not inactive in the choices they made or the places they went in life, before and after their lives intersected. It is, however, at the moment that Jeremiah contends they stopped acting (in more ways than one), that they were able to find their true selves as individuals and as a couple, that were able to find new, deep and rich meaning in their lives, that they were able to seize their shared destiny. There can be no better place to be in life, right here and right now.

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