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Where were you last Saturday at 4:00 a.m.?  I was in bed fast asleep, but my wife and two granddaughters were facing our 65-inch flat screen with one goal in mind: not to miss one moment of the Royal Wedding extravaganza.  Millions joined them from all over the world to witness Harry and Meghan march to the pomp and circumstance that surrounds this historical production.  I can only imagine the time, energy, and money that was invested to pull off this elaborate event.  Most of us could retire on the money that was spent on flowers alone.  Oh, by the way, there were flowers on display from California, just in case you missed this very important detail.  Forgive me if I seem a little cynical, but as a pastor I’ve witnessed and officiated at more than my fair share of wedding ceremonies, only to observe that the wedding lasted longer than the marriage. My prayer truly is that Harry and Meghan will live up to the vows they made of “till death do us part.”

Since the wedding was on Saturday I slept a little later than usual, but I awoke in time to hear Bishop Michael Curry light up the world with his amazing message of love.  Someone actually counted how many times Bishop Curry used the word love.  Any guesses?  65!  By the time he was finished with his message I was about to jump out of my recliner and do a Pentecostal jig.  If you haven’t heard his message, do yourself a favor and listen in to his outstanding oratory about the power of love and light.  The timing and venue for this message, from the heart of God, was perfect for this world that is filled with hatred and darkness.

Where were you at 3:00 p.m. last Saturday?  I was seated in the Canton Convention Center waiting for the entry of one of the most important people in my life to march to “Pomp and Circumstance.”  The event wasn’t a royal wedding ceremony, rather it was a royal graduation ceremony which was of much more significance to me. The star wasn’t a young man named Harry, rather it was my grandson, named Brandon MARK Moraghan. I was seated near a young lady named Meghan whose last name wasn’t Markle, rather it was Moraghan. I wasn’t seated next to Queen Elizabeth, rather Queen Janna, the grandmother of Brandon Mark.

As a family, our hearts were connected by blood but more importantly, by love, the virtue that Bishop Curry mentioned 65 times. What made the graduation special wasn’t all of the fanfare that surrounds formal ceremonies, rather the personal connection and the witnessing of a milestone for a very special young man.  I was reminded that if I hadn’t survived my heart attack on August 17, 2016, I would have missed this (for me) historic event.  I’m sure Harry must have thought many times about how his mother, the late Princess Diana, one of the most important people in his life, was absent during such a momentous day.  Because we don’t know what the future holds, we need to hold each other close.

My message this week is just that.  Cherish the moments with people who matter most, be it a royal wedding or high school graduation.  I don’t watch soap operas, but I think it’s fitting to quote from one.  “These are the days of our lives.”  God created us as relational beings, and I think it brings him joy to see us enjoying our days and seasons and events with people who matter to us.  Don’t take these moments, whether big or small, for granted.  Let’s learn to find as much joy from the daily and even “mundane” as we do from the once-in-a-lifetime and extraordinary.  Rejoice in the lost teeth and the family dinners and the Sunday morning trips to church and the piano recitals and the coffee dates with friends and the new friend at work and…

None of us know how many days we will be given here on this earth.  God knows, though, as we see in Psalm 139:16 (NLT).

“You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

Live each day to the fullest because you never know what today or tomorrow might bring.  I’m not trying to be depressing, but I think it’s important that we’re reminded of the brevity of life from time to time.  As I rejoiced at the graduation of my grandson, I couldn’t help but think about the 10 students from Santa Fe High School in Texas who also were supposed to graduate but whose lives were tragically taken in a school shooting last Friday.

In the midst of all of the pomp and circumstance of this season of special events filled with pageantry, let’s not forget the meaning behind all of it.  The meaning and message is that real, not fictitious people, are experiencing defining moments that will shape the rest of their lives.  These are times for celebration but also a time to pause and reflect on the serious and sacred as well.  May God go with you today and help you to appreciate the moments, whether big or small, with people you love and cherish.

2 Comments, RSS

  • Carla

    says on:
    May 23, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Mark, you continue to simply and eloquently remind us of the things that really matter. Thank you for sharing your heart. I always feel inspired after reading your messages. Bless you.

  • Bud Couts

    says on:
    May 23, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Another great blog, Mark. People we are connected to and love may be far away but we can take time to contact them in so many ways just to say, “I love you.” We drove to Oklahoma City just to hear our granddaughter’s senior recital on cello. It meant so much to her and to us. We wanted her to know how much we love her and want the best for her. She then auditioned for and received a “fellowship” to pay for her Master’s Degree in cello performance. We are so proud of her.