14,600 days or 350,400 hours or 21,024,000 minutes
January 15, 1977 – 2017
Many thoughts have been racing through my head this week as I reflect on the last four decades. Forty years ago my bride, Rachel Hope Morris, agreed to be my life mate. We’ve had our ups and downs like most but somehow managed to grow old together. We are blessed. Rachel remains the love of my life and light of my day.
Every couple experiences their own journey with many stops along the way. Love to the end is the vision. How did we make it this far? It wasn’t luck. There were many events that caused us to pause, evaluate and rejoin the race. Thru our Lord, family and friends we stand here today still madly in love with each other. Here are a few things that I feel have brought us to this special moment.
1. Culture: We both grew up in the rural area near each other. Our families had similar backgrounds & experiences. We were comfortable with each other.
2. Family: Our parents were friends. They both along with their parents were faithful couples to the end. Our families knew each other intimately. We had worked, fellowshipped and played together. There were no outlaws, just 2 sets of parents. Our fathers talked about God & walked with God. They loved our mothers. They kept pointing us back to the cross. Family was a team effort. Our mothers respected our fathers. Both have been widows for some time and have shown us how to grow old gracefully. We learned from them how to parent and pass it on to our son.
3. Work: Hard work was instilled in both of us from an early age. We enjoyed our work. We did whatever we had to do in order to provide for our family. My vocation provided many opportunities as a young couple. Most were in another region away from family. We chose each time to remain near family, that was our roots. As we were taught, we tried to live within our means, did not worry about what we did not have just thankful for the blessings we did have.
4. Community: We both grew up in communities where everybody knew everyone else and all that was going on around them, there were very few secrets. This is all we knew and somehow when we moved to Atlanta, we created that environment around us. To have a neighbor you have to be a neighbor. Our community was a great place for families and kids to grow & flourish. Our church was an extension of that community. Here we found fellowship, kinship, encouragement, mentoring, service and solid biblical teaching that had a huge impact on our lives.
5. Love: We truly love each other dearly. Sometimes that was all we had to take us thru that season of life. Other times it was the love of one carrying along the other. Our love has been tested and has withstood the fire.
6. GOD: He is the reason we are here today. We love HIM with all our heart and HE is the center of our marriage. So goes my relationship with Daddy God, goes our relationship with each other and those around us. We love HIM and HE has showered us with HIS love in our lives. We are truly blessed.
So today I thank God and my wonderful bride Rachel for a blessed marriage. We grew old together. May HE grant us another season of life and remain the focus of our hearts.
Hosea 10:12 (NKJV)
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.