I wish you could keep people in a marriage by physically restraining them. Frankly, I’m disappointed that you can’t.
Why won’t people keep their vows?
Tonight I am angry, frustrated and sad because two marriages I’m acquainted with are dying, if not dead already.
I know that God is calling me to take a stand for marriage – whatever that means. Something he is making really clear is that I don’t have to have things all figured out – I never will – but the lie that I have to has kept me from doing so many things. I am learning that if I pray and listen and commit to obeying God, he will bring the opportunities to me.
I am sick of trying to do things perfectly, and lets face it, there is no perfect way of being with someone in a crisis, especially if it’s of her or his own doing. So I made a call and left an awkward message offering to be in it with this couple. And then I paced around and prayed and felt angry and prayed some more and then I checked my e-mail.
A friend had written about sowing and reaping in general life. He wondered about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and quoted from his sermon, The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon preached 2 months prior to his assassination. Dr. King wrote:
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that is not important. Tell him not to mention where I went to school. I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to live his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try to feed the hungry. And I want you to say that day, that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right side or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your best side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition, but I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.
I needed that.
I can’t force or cajole you to keep your commitments; I get to keep my own. I get to be on Jesus’ right side, his left side, his best side, not for any selfish reason, but in truth and in justice; I get to be a drum major for marriage, for love.