This is not what I normally think of when I think of being present. I picture quiet, solitude and stillness. Being in nature, enjoying God’s creation. But as I prayed and thought about being present our wedding day came to mind. An unusual type of being present but definitely being completely present that day.
It’s easier to be present if the day you’re having is a fantastic one. There were jitters and so much prep to be done. Cars to decorate, things to take to the banquet hall, a tux to put on (that was stressful) and a million things that could go wrong.
But once we got to the wedding ceremony, I had the best day ever! It was a celebration of God and how He had brought us together. It was a party like none I’d ever experienced. I had SO much fun. And I’m an introvert, big time.
I remember the food, the dancing ( I hate dancing normally), the people, the speeches, the ceremony with so many people taking part and making it special. It was just FUN.
I remember saying that evening, “we should do this once a year to celebrate our marriage again and again!”
What a crazy idea especially for an introvert. I don’t like parties, not big on large gatherings, loud music, dancing, or having to dress up. Yet this day included all of those. It was so fun. (did I say that already? oh right)
I was truly present in the day, the feels, the sights, the flavours, the smells, the sounds, the connections with people, the beauty of my bride and the celebration of God in it all. My bride was so beautiful. Let me be clear, she is beautiful all the time, dressed up for a rare special occasion or dressed in super casual clothes. But this day was the most dressed up day in our lives and she was stunning. I know, I was the one who was stunned, even more than usual, wow.
There were sweet smelling flowers and a delicious home cooked turkey dinner and chocolate. And so many warm joyous hugs. There were new friends and old, relatives who you don’t even know you miss until there they are and you hug! I danced with joy instead of embarrassment and fear of looking foolish. I was so joyful I didn’t care how I looked (certainly foolish but in love). People who I loved were all around and celebrating our marriage and it made me smile and laugh and cry and smile more.
And God was so present.
And God was so present. I felt close to him as we prayed, celebrated communion, sang, listened to music, read the Bible, worshipped and committed our lives together to God anew. As people participated in the wedding and reception I felt God’s presence. And what had been an empty banquet hall when we booked it became holy ground.
Oh, and did I say the Blue Jays won the World Series for the second time that night! That was a crazy side thing. Every now and then someone would slip into the bar next door and check the score and announce to the reception how the Jays were doing which was greeted by cheers. It was a winner day all around!
No wonder I wanted to go back and do it again. I think it’s one part of being truly present. We don’t miss things. We see and experience all those fully present moments like nothing else. And it makes them powerful. Sometimes powerfully sad but often good or positive experiences.
We haven’t have a big party each year to celebrate our wedding over and over. (surprise!) I realized I didn’t want to do that. No one else would have wanted to do that either. It was a one time event. It was a beginning to something new and wonderful.
It’s worth celebrating and we do still in many ways — lunch dates, anniversaries, notes, gifts, serving one another. All those celebrate our marriage. But the big dressed up, loud, many people gathering, dancing, party, not going there.
But I was present moment by moment that day and I still remember it. I think we need to look through the pictures from that day again.