Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To my son on his wedding day

April 30, 2008

On the day you are wed:

You both know that I have worked hard to understand what it is that marriage adds to life. I have listened to hundreds of couples talk of their marriage as if it were a disposable toy. I have also met couples who see that marriage itself broadens and deepens not only their own life but creates a sanctuary that is indispensable for the children.

Of course there is fear: can we do it? Is he the right one? Is she too much trouble? There is fear of abandonment, fear of not being understood, fear of changing conditions. You’ll have your own serving of fears.

There is an old tale told about the lions in the vast savannahs of Africa. When the herds are coming, and therefore food, they pick the oldest lion one who is toothless and no longer good for the hunt. They send him to the opposite side of the savannah and as the herds approach he roars his terrible roar.

The young lions, positioned on the opposite side, wait. The herd runs away from the roar and toward what they think is safety… where a great many are caught and eaten.

The story tells us to “run towards the roar.” It is another way of saying “run toward your fear.” If you are stuck, if you think you are being misunderstood, if you think the other person is a jerk… run toward not away from your fear.
Embracing the fear (and the conflict) is a way of embracing your intention in marrying one another. There is no greater insurance to birthing a good marriage than daily embracing your love for one another.

You are in my arms, in my thoughts and in my prayers. God’s blessing on you both and on your children.
I love you,

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