"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them … Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12

There was a point in my life when I hated weddings. I'd do anything I could to get out of going. I'd leave early. But now, when I think about all the celebrating I missed …

I think the main problem was that I wasn't married myself—and I hated just about any and every reminder of that fact.

Ditto things like dealing with hard issues in people's lives, confrontation, or even other people's sickness. Nothing in my life had ever exposed me to—much less equipped me for—much of that at all. So, of course, it was good to go into a vocation like ministry where I would deal with all of those things on a regular basis.

While I always hated going to weddings, I've found doing weddings another thing entirely. As I drove home from a wedding the other day, I realized just how much I enjoy this role I get to play in people's lives.

In fact, I think I've always enjoyed doing weddings—well, except maybe that first one. The "pressure to enjoyment" ratio was way out of whack on that one. Good thing it only lasted about 10 minutes. On this last one, I think I finally crossed the 90 percent ratio in terms of pressure to enjoyment. Now it's almost pure pleasure. I know what I'm doing. I feel like I have something to offer. And most of all, I can relax and enjoy my front row seat.

As a pastor, I get to see things that most people don't. I regularly stand two feet from men and women as they pledge their lives and their love to one another, tears streaming down their faces. I stand there at one of the most significant moments of their lives, helping to create it. And I'm literally the only person in the room who can see the ...

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Death  |  Funerals  |  Weddings  |  Work
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