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Gregory A Doyle

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The Way Of Things
By Gregory A Doyle
Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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· Where Hope Soars
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A reflection on my youngest daughter getting married.

Yesterday, this past Saturday, September 15, 2007, another large paving stone was laid in the path of my ever-shortening number of days here on Earth. Yes, I know this phenomenon is not the “end of the world.” For most folks, it becomes one more convenient excuse to pop open a bottle of champagne and snort a few moments of inebriated bliss in exchange for a blurry tumble down memory lane. Still, after the dust has settled and all fingers and toes are accounted for, the insurmountable reality of the event cannot be brushed away as easily.

My youngest daughter, Sarah, got married yesterday.

Funny… as I repeat these words to myself in reflection, I must confess it sounds incredulous to me. If you have ever experienced a dream where you are both in the dream and simultaneously watching yourself from the sidelines (as you are interacting in the dream), then perhaps you understand this surreal moment for me. While stepping through the portal of the announcement, “Dad, we’re getting married,” to releasing the arm of my adult child into the arms of another man on the promise of “I do,” something has oddly shifted within me, like the opening and closing of an unseen door.

She’s grown up. She has her own life now. She no longer needs me.

Gone. Like a pack of horses flying through the starting gate, the race is on! A beautiful team of thoroughbreds, now yoked together, pull their own wagonload of burdens along the road of life’s uncertainty in commitment to a single purpose, namely: survival. Now I have become a spectator rather than a trainer. The course they travel is not of my choosing, but their own. This, then, is the way of things.

There is no coincidence in life; no such animals as kismet or karma; no fairy-tale wishes fulfilled; no dreams, for the sake of themselves, coming true . The blessing and bond of holy matrimony has nothing to do with the rule of law, but rather the sanctity of the promise kept in faith. And faith is more than believing in a promise; more than the symbol of ceremony; more than a lasting impression facilitated through pomp; more than an emotional release through circumstance; and much more than the multitudinous expectations gift-wrapped in a single vow.

Marriage has been and shall always be God’s domain. From the very origins of human existence, God created two unique beings from one body prototype through a mysterious and divine process known as life. God declared it was not good for man (Adam) to be alone, so He drew woman (Eve) from man’s side and made her desirable, presenting her to her man as a pristine and radiant jewel. This creator of life also remains the original author of love. And so he planted the roots of desire and longing in both of them for one another.

There was no coincidence in the choice of a romantic garden setting to plant the seeds of God’s eternal and holy love in the heart of mankind. Even when we fell from God’s grace in Eden, God’s original design for the marriage bond, between a man and a woman, was unaffected and unaltered. Keeping promises is what God is very good at and what faith in Him is all about. And marriage is about keeping promises. This has always been the way of things from God’s perspective.

And so another chapter in my life ends as a new chapter is being written for my daughter. The cycle of creation, of life and death and more life, continues along the tireless track of time. Whether in small doses or large helpings, these offerings are the moments by which we measure ourselves in both desperation and wonder. Wanting so dearly to maintain control of events affecting the direction of one’s path, in hindsight it becomes all the more painful to confess one’s utter helplessness through this aging process.

Yet again, it all boils down to faith. Faith is acting in belief on a promise: a promise to cherish; a promise to love exclusively for a lifetime; a promise to guard the heart against intrusion from outside the marriage bond; a promise to never abandon love because of seen and unforeseen circumstances; a promise to keep love holy, sacred, and above reproach. This is what God designed and still desires for the bond of marriage. It is his promise to us, which He has faithfully kept to this day.

For my daughter, Sarah, and my son-in-law, Anthony, a new life has blossomed from the garden bond of love my wife, Linda, and I have nurtured and tended these past twenty-six years. And though our promises are never kept perfectly, God’s promises always have been. God’s grace to us, in every circumstance on the road of life, has been more than sufficient. His all-consuming and never ceasing love continues to protect and bless us. That is just the way of things I must accept by faith.

So, help me, God.

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Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/16/2007
Congratulations to your daughter as she and her brand new husband start their married lives together! Very happy news!

All the best to the young couple; they are in my prayers! Very well done story, Greg!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D

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