I DO – Committing to Life’s Ups and Downs

Who knew? Such large meaning found in two small words. This bundling of three simple letters in the English alphabet, forms the most consequential of all of human commitments. “I DO” unleashes a lifetime of possibilities and potential!

And it never gets old! Hundreds of times I’m nearest to a couple, standing at a sacred time and place, when lovingly they look into one another’s eyes and breathe life into their vows of commitment by saying “I DO” — I love it!

And here’s a different take. I too am in a sense saying “I DO” to a couple. I commit to walk with them as needed through the ups and downs of life. As a wedding officiant and community pastor (and often a couple’s premarital counselor) I see my role, my “I DO” as special and unique, not merely a vendor, client arrangement.

As epic and memorable as wedding celebrations are, the reality is that at day’s end the flowers fade, the dishes go back in the box, the music crescendos, and the newlyweds are lovingly sent off into their new life of adventure together. This new life of course has ups and downs. Often times a steady voice of a spiritual friend is welcomed.

I’m always honored at a later date to be called upon to be part of a special event or help give input at a key juncture in life. Some occasions are happy like the birth of a baby, a post wedding reception, or the introduction to a friend getting married looking for an officiant. Others are sad and hard. Couple’s have to work through marital problems, health issues for them or their family members and yes, sometimes even the death of a family member.

This week, and not an unusual one, I’ve counseled a couple at a hard time in their marriage, sat and prayed with a family and husband whose wife is hospitalized, and led a funeral service of a loved one. It’s all part of saying “I DO” — for better for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

And yet last night we celebrated and danced! So grateful for the friends and connections we’ve made in Patrick & Michelle. Such beauty in young love between a couple given a second chance at a later point in life. Best wishes, great party, wonderful friends and neighbors — and we say “WE DO” the next time you fire up the band Patrick! And may the two of you live happily ever after!

“I DO” with much gratitude,

Jim

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