Monday, March 3, 2014

A Groomsman's Random Thoughts

Photo courtesy of Neal Rabulan
“Rejoice with those who rejoice.” - Romans 12:15a


There was cake. There was dancing. There were a bunch of single ladies scrambling to snatch a bouquet in mid-air while Beyoncé's hit song Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) blared over the speakers.

Yup, it's a wedding.

There is something beautiful about coming together and taking part in a joyous occasion, and few are more joyous than seeing two great friends tie the knot.

But celebrating is not always easy. 

I got to be a groomsman for the first time this past weekend, and for anyone who has been a groomsman, you know what a privilege and honor it is to celebrate two awesome friends become husband and wife. As I stood there just a few feet away from the happy couple, I started to think. 

I started to think about all of the people that were at this wedding and what they were bringing with them that day from their own lives.

Some of them were probably riding high on the wave of a great season of life while others might have been buried under a wave of difficult circumstances. I brought some stuff into this wedding, as well. But on that day, all of that faded into the background. It didn't matter because it wasn't about me. It was about the wedding and the newlyweds. We all got to rejoice. We got to take part in something beautiful.

We learn a lot about ourselves in how we respond to the joy and success of others -- especially when things aren't peachy in our own lives. Do we become jealous? Sad? Do we immerse ourselves in self-pity? That’s pride. We're essentially telling ourselves that our feelings matter more than God’s blessings in the lives of the people around us.

The apostle Paul urged people to rejoice with those who rejoiced and to cry with those who are in distress. That requires putting others ahead of ourselves. It's not easy -- especially when our hearts and minds are weighed down by our own circumstances and emotions.

But something amazing happens when we do choose to lay all of our own stuff down in humility for the sake of others: we find more and more reasons to celebrate. We will get to take part in more celebrations than if we close ourselves off in a bubble of "me, myself and I".

At a wedding, the main focus is the bride and groom. They are the source of the celebration. In life, the main focus is Jesus. He is the source of our joy. If we lose our focus -- or focus on the wrong thing -- we will lose our joy.

Just as a groomsman serves the groom, we should strive to live lives of service to God and those that he has put around us. Focus on genuinely loving and caring about people and rejoicing with them; we'll have so much more to be joyful about.

Don’t let anything keep you from taking part in a celebration. Check your baggage at the door. Laugh! Smile! Celebrate! Rejoice with those who rejoice! Life is so much more rich when we choose to rejoice with others and let them rejoice with us.

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