The Captivating Wedding

It happened years ago in Brazil, where we lived at the time, in a little church my dad was overseeing. The modest chapel stood on a hillside overlooking the red clay-tiled roofs of the houses below that spilled out across the valley. On this particular day, he was presiding over a wedding and so we were all invited to attend what turned out to be an amazing ceremony and a valuable life lesson. Looking back now, it was without a doubt the humblest wedding I ever attended, but at the same time one of the most captivating.

We took our seats on the left-hand side of the small auditorium and watched as it quickly filled to capacity with well-wishers. As the ceremony got underway, a young woman came to the podium to sing a special hymn. Unfortunately, she had barely started singing when her nerves got the best of her and she started to stumble over the lyrics. Without hesitation the groom sprang into action and stepping forward he picked up the song where her voice had trailed off, giving her the confidence to keep going. As they sang together, he turned to his bride and then the congregation and motioned for them to join in. Before it was over the packed chapel was filled with the voices of this impromptu choir so much so that the melody spilled out through the open church doors and over the valley.  

If I picture that day in my mind and listen very carefully, I can almost see their faces and hear their sweet song these many years later. The bride looking on with amazement, tears dancing in the corners of her eyes. The groom wearing a plain white long-sleeve shirt standing in front of the alter leading the congregation in the song, his face beaming with the joy and anticipation of this special day when he marries the girl of his dreams. Nothing, not even the forgotten words of a song, can dampen his enthusiasm on this special day!

Couple on their wedding day standing in front of the church doors.

These days there are reality TV shows that apparently shadow couples prior to their wedding in order to document the many activities leading up to the big day. What I gather from the promotional clips is that things inevitably turn ugly as the couples lash out at everyone around them in their attempt to create the “perfect” wedding. Whenever I see an ad for one of these shows I reflect on the young man from Brazil, bursting with joy as he led the congregation in song. He was not worried about the condition of the flower arrangements, there were none. He was not concerned if the stringed quartet was going to show up on time, because he had not hired one. He did not even care that the young singer forgot the lyrics to her song. He was only filled with immense gratitude for the people who had come out on this very special day to share in his joy of marrying the love of his life.

Summary

As we strive for perfection in our daily lives, whether it be a party we are hosting for friends, an attempt to pull off the perfect date with that special someone who might be “the one”, or even our very own wedding day, are we consciously aware of what really matters? At the end of the day what really matters are the people we love, and the special moments they share with us.

So, the next time you are part of an event that experiences an unexpected hiccup, just picture the young groom in the white shirt and beaming face and be filled with gratitude and awe for the people around you that you love.

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P.S. Share with us in the comments below an inspiring event that has shaped your life.

Love & Sunshine – The Perfect Balance

It was an amazing fall day with thousands of brightly painted leaves drifting down from the canopy above through the soft rays of distant sunlight. We had picked the perfect day for a long walk through the woods!

We found some hiking trails on the grounds of an old estate that sits high above the Hudson River and set out on our walk through the woods. At first, the trails brought us past some carefully groomed gardens, around the back of a historical European styled manor, and then on towards the woods where we came across a family pet cemetery. We stood for a moment contemplating the love the owners had for their many pets and then pressed on down a steep hill into the woods. Suddenly, we sprang into a small meadow with a pond flush with tall bulrushes growing at the water’s edge. As we skirted around the left side of the pond, we noticed a dog standing in the shallow water at the far end carefully watching us. We left the pond and pressed deeper into the woods where we stumbled upon a little waterfall and a rickety wooden bridge across the trickling water. After taking a couple of pictures, we continued through the woods and down the hill until we finally came to an opening where the river spread out in front of us in both directions and the stately home where we started stood far behind us high on the hill. It was a perfect day, with the perfect balance of love and sunshine.

The pond with the bulrushes at the water’s edge

When was the last time you set work aside for a day and spent time somewhere peaceful, perhaps even with someone you love, and just walked for a while? It is so easy to be consumed by all the things we must do and to forget the simple things that we really should do. I would like to encourage you to take some time, find a place to walk, and just breathe for a little while.

I thought I would share some of the pictures with you of our perfect day and hopefully encourage you to find a similar place to walk and to be inspired. For the past couple of weeks, we have been sharing on how to live inspired and taking in nature is a great way to do this, and also a way to clear the clutter out of your mind. If you have the opportunity, find a place around you away from the crowds and just walk for a while. See if you don’t find inspiration in the company of someone you love and the beauty around you. If you can’t actually get away, then walk with us through the pictures and be inspired.   

Sunshine Through The Trees
The stream we stumbled upon

Your life is like a stream, always moving but often interrupted by hard things that get in the way and throw it out of balance. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

P.S. Share with us in the comments below the things that inspire you and how inspiration shows up in your life.