Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Road to Our Full Potential

Saturday evening, I officiated Kiandra and Zach’s wedding ceremony at The Olana in Hickory Creek, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Kiandra and Zach are very clear about what they do for each other. Zach says, “I have thought about her every day since [I met her]. She makes me want to be a better person, not only for her, but for myself. No one has given me more confidence…” And Kiandra mirrors this, when she says, “I want to marry Zach because he has the kindest heart… He’s always looking out for the people that he loves and [he] wants them to feel as special as he believes them to be.”

Now, you might find what they say simple and straightforward, and it is, but there is also tremendous depth here. Essentially, what they are saying is that each helps the other, as well as others, live up to their full potential. You might think this is obvious; isn’t that what marriage and life are and have always been about?

Well, in a word, no. Until very recently, living up to your full potential in life, in general, as well as finding that partner who through marriage could help you do just that, was far from a given. Even today, though we have traveled quite a distance, barriers on the road to our full potential have not been fully taken down.

And yet this striving for reaching your full potential has always been embedded in our tradition, both regarding life, in general, and marriage, specifically. Indeed, this is one of the reasons that the wedding ceremony, specifically, repeatedly alludes to the mythical first couple in the Garden of Eden.

The Ancient Rabbis tell us that God created one couple from whom we are all descended to emphasize that none of us are inherently any better than anyone else, that each of us has a unique contribution with which we can make the world a better place, and that each of us, with our partners, if we are so fortunate to find that special person, have limitless potential to create entire worlds.  

That is what marriage is all about. That is what Kiandra and Zach are all about. We should all be so lucky.

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