There was an elderly man from Denmark who moved to America and married. In his latter years something happened to his health and he was not able to converse normally. He could only grunt for the last 10 to 15 years of his life. One day while sitting with his wife at the kitchen table he leaned over to her and said in a normal speaking voice: “You know, It wasn’t suppose to be like this,” and then he went back to grunting until he took his last breath.
It is clear we’re not in control of what is to be…….
I recall being invited to play a set at The National Society of Black Engineers Conference in 2007 from one of my brothers good friends Mario. Me and my band traveled from DC to Columbus, Ohio, and got the job done. Fast forward to August of 2010 at my brothers wedding in Portland, Oregon, where my brother introduces me to his good friend “Church.” I told him it was a pleasure to meet him and started to walk away when my brother informed me that Church aka Mario is his friend who put together the introduction to get me invited to play at the National Society of Black Engineers Conference a few years back. I expressed how grateful I was for his kindness and I began to have a casual conversation with Church and his wife. That entire weekend we all hung out and celebrated the union of my brother and his wife. It was an incredible weekend. The best wedding I’ve been to in my life!
Two summers ago my brother told me he received a phone call from Church’s wife asking him to come down to San Diego ASAP because Church was sick. My brother arrived in San Diego to find his friend in a hospice unable to speak or breath on his own.
My brother spent the day speaking to Church sharing memories and praying……..
No vocal response from Church, just an occasional grunt….
My brother woke up the next morning to a phone call from Church’s wife saying he was gone … ….....
Church had a wife, a toddler, and a new born baby … … .
It wasn’t suppose to be that way...
You never know when what you love may be taken away from you … …
We’re not in control of what is to be … …
I was riding to L.A. Fitness with my sister the one day. She just happens to be one of my favorite people in the world. I began to ask her an array of questions about the people she has dated in her past ….
I asked her to think of everyone she has dated … …
Then I said, “God forbid anything were to happen to you like you lose your sight, end up in a wheelchair, lose your ability to converse, or even not be able to have sex for the rest of your life because of an accident (EXTREME but it has happened) … … …
Out of those candidates you’ve dated, who do you think would stick it out with you for better or worse in a marriage?”
Her answer … …
They don’t have the character to do so … …
Character : the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person
Their mentality and ethical traits aren’t at a level to take on ”for better or for worse … .
Til death do us part … . .”
Is it because better is always expected?
Worse is never expected … .
That can’t happen to you…..right?
What me and my sister were having was a real conversation about the road to marriage.
You know the conversation that goes passed the cute stuff like the wedding cake and colors, how many children you want, their names, where we’re gonna live, the amount of money we expect to make together, ect ….
Sometimes we need a Character check to find out where we are ….
You don’t know the measure of a man or woman until something real happens.
That’s when your character is tested … …
That’s what separates the men and women from the boys and girls … …
I remember Sis. Thomas from the church I attended in Cleveland growing up.
I remember her being in a wheelchair.
I remember her husband always being behind her pushing that wheelchair.
I recently saw a picture of the two of them via Bro. Thomas’ Facebook page.
I saw her in a wheelchair and him standing behind her in the wheelchair.
They both wore golden smiles … …
It seems his character was built for “for better or worse.”
What a powerful thing in all aspects of its existence. No matter what type of character you have, it has power because it speaks in volumes if you choose to listen. It can only be hidden for a short period of time. It has no choice but to reveal itself in a permanent situation cause no one can hide from the mirror of marriage.
I’m uncertain of what happen to Sis. Thomas to place her in a wheelchair but I don’t think it was always like this. Her son is my age and I remember her having a daughter that was younger than us. Whatever happened resulted in her being in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. How do you handle that news? How does one embrace this type of change? That change you have no control over…….That same change that is changing your life forever. Sis. Thomas had no control over the situation.
Bro. Thomas had control over something though…….this has changed his life as well but he had control over whether he embraced the change or left.
Commitment: something pledged
Bro. Thomas made a commitment to Sis. Thomas of “for better or worse, til death do them part.” On the day he pledged to honor this commitment neither of them knew the “worse” they would face. We have all seen different types of “worse” in our world today and have watched them shake the core of numerous commitments leaving them severed with casualties of war in the aftermath.
People leave because of “worse”
They didn’t sign up for worse……..and worse isn’t fair!
Bro. Thomas didn’t sign up for this……well…….He did…….
It’s just that “worse” is the undiscussed clause of the commitment cause we hope to never see it.
So let’s say you’re dating and you feel like you’ve met someone you’re really interested in. The honeymoon phase is promising as always but as you continue on the journey you began to notice their reaction to minor things seems a bit over the top. Something small can throw their day off or if things don’t go their way it’s a problem. Life isn’t treating them fairly…..and they feel it shouldn’t be like this….It’s about them….These things are part of their character.
Well is it fair to say that our character has a big influence on major commitments like marriage?
Would you expect someone like your date to stay or flee in a situation like the Thomas family’s situation?
If minor things throw you off what would you do with a situation like Bro. Thomas’…..
I believe Bro. Thomas choice to stay fully committed had a lot to do with his character. I don’t know off hand but I’m sure his character could handle small problems so when it came to the “worse” he faced in his marriage, although very challenging, his CHARACTER sustained his COMMITMENT to his wife in an un-ideal lifetime situation.
Character is the foundation of who we are and there is no denying that our will to Commit to someone for better or God forbid “the unfortunate worse” is somewhere within who we truly are.
Character and Commitment are twins that know each other very well. They often expose each other in situations like the Thomas Family’s.
We’ll never be in control of what is to be……
You will always be in control of your Character…..your Commitments….
Honestly … …
How is your character?
Based on the character of people you’ve dated, who do you think would stick it out with you God forbid the unfortunate “worse” was to happen within your marriage?
Could you take on that worse and stick it out?
Things to think about……