One of my favorite songs of all time is “What a Wonderful World.” I’m sure you know the song, but to refresh your memory about the song and its beautiful lyrics by George David and Bob Thiele:
“I see trees of green, red roses, too, I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, and I say to myself what a wonderful world. The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people goin’ by. I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’, “how do you do!” They’re really sayin’, “I love you.” I hear babies cry, I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know, and I think to myself what a wonderful world. Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world.”
– “What a Wonderful World.” Words and Music by George David Weiss & Bob Thiele
I am thinking about this song today because it was the song that Allison and I shared for our first dance together five years ago.
Five years ago today, Allison and I shared vows between one another, before our families and loved ones, and before God. I vowed:
“I give myself to you. Each and every morning I promise to wake you up gently, and always I promise to be faithful and honest with you. I promise to respect and trust you, to help and care for you, and to forgive and strengthen you. I promise to share my life with you, so that together we may serve God and others as long as we both shall live. These things I promise with all my heart.”
We have grown a lot as a couple these past five years. We have grown a lot as individuals over them too- both understanding our own selves, our gifts, our passions… but also discerning together what God is up to, and calling us to be part of. When we made our vows five years ago, we each vowed, “I promise to share my life with you, so that together we may serve God and others as long as we both shall live.” This is central to who we are and our vocations.
It took on a new level this week with my approval to be an Associate in Ministry, and is also taking on a new level as Allison prepares to begin a pastoral internship, and if all goes well, to be an ordained Pastor by sometime late next year.
All of this is great, but for today, as I pause to say Happy Anniversary to my wife and to thank you all for being part of our lives and journeys… let me say this, if it weren’t for Allison, I would not be who I am today, I would not be living as fully and abundantly, and I certainly would not know as much about vocation, identity, being able to be most authentically me… and of course, love.
Core to my blog here are reflections about church, leadership and the love of the neighbor. These are made most real for me when done in concert with my wife. Today, I’m grateful for her, and blessed beyond measure to be able to say Happy Fifth Anniversary!
The world we live in is not perfect, and there are plenty of needs we are called to respond to. But it is also wonderful, because it is a gift created by God and one we are called to love, live in, co-create in, and to serve. Such a calling and opportunity is a wonderful gift. It’s one I think that it is best to share with others, especially my life partner.
Happy Anniversary Allison! I love you!