I still remember the Sunday morning when I walked into a Sunday School class and unexpectedly beheld a new girl sitting quietly off to herself, wrapped up in her coat, with her head down staring at the floor. While she stared downward, I stared at her!
Of course, I was not the only boy to notice her; several others guys did as well. But I doubt seriously whether any of the competition knew what they were up against from that moment forward; for I was a man on a mission! I strategically positioned myself so that I could continue staring at her throughout the ensuing hour.
As soon as class ended, I wasted no time in making it my business to meet her. I soon discovered her name as well as the fact that she and her family had just moved into the community where I had lived my whole life. To my delight, I discovered that we would be attending the same high school in the3 same grade.
Over the next few weeks, she went out with one or two of the other guys before I finally worked up the nerve to ask her out. But that did not mean I was sitting idly by. By no means; for I quickly set about putting my plan in motion. First, I broke up with my girlfriend. Thereafter, each day before high school began, I managed to wander down the hall to “visit” a friend, who just happened to be in her homeroom. (We were all arranged alphabetically.)
Then, I finagled my class schedule to where we would strategically bump into one another in between classes. My coup de grâce was in finding out which lunch she had (early or late), and getting a class schedule that allowed me to eat lunch at the same time. Daily, I plotted. Daily I made progress.
When the time was right, having plowed the ground, I made my move. I called her up and asked her out on a date. She had some reason she could not go out. I took it in stride, and a week or two later, asked her out a second time, only to be rebuffed yet again. Nevertheless I persevered, and asked her out yet a third time. Again, for whatever reason, she was unable to go out.
Now, even someone as dumb as me understands the three strike rule. But I thank God I listened to my heart and not my head. So, I asked her out a fourth time; and this time, for whatever reason – perhaps pity – she finally said yes. We went out on a double date for pizza and a movie; and I will treasure the memories of that night forever.
To sum it all up, we went on to date for three years of high school and then through four years of college. Five years into that process, I got the nerve to ask her to marry me. I was lifeguarding at a local pool; and she came there to sun bathe. I only had thirty minutes for lunch; and was so nervous that I literally could not eat. So, I took her to the only place that was empty and quiet: the men’s dressing room. Closing the door, I dutifully got down on one knee and proposed. This time, thankfully, she did not need to be asked four times. She said yes! Greatly relieved, I ate lunch, and went back to work.
A couple of years later, on this date, June 11, back in 1983, we tied the knot, and have now been together for 38 years. When added to the seven years we had dated, we have now been blessed to be together for 45 years. And I thank God for every single second of every single moment of every single hour of every single day of every single month of every single year of every single decade of that time together.
You see, in accordance with the perfect will of God, I found myself a wife. And in the process, just as Scripture affirms, I found a very good thing. Even more, through my beautiful wife, I have found favor from the Lord. The Contemporary English Version translates Proverbs 18:22: “A man's greatest treasure is his wife - she is a gift from the LORD.” Truly, in allowing me to discover my precious wife, the Lord Himself gifted me with my greatest earthly treasure!
Today, as the two of us celebrate decades of life together, we pause to count our blessings – not the least of which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Add to these three wonderful children, their respective three spouses, and seven grandsons, plus health, well-being, and stability, and we soon realize that our blessings are beyond number!
For all these things, once again I say, “Amen!”