Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Wedding (and Worship) Gnats
Many members of both of our families were present at the ceremony that took place at 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon in Debra’s home church, the Leary Baptist Church. Leary, as some of you know, is located about twenty-five miles southwest of Albany, and is thus embedded deep among the peanut fields of southwest Georgia.
It is also well below the gnat line. Our wedding being a June South Georgia wedding, the gnats were uninvited but not unexpected guests.
It was, in fact, a very nice ceremony. It’s too bad that so many of my folks can’t remember it because all they could pay attention to was the gnats.
The funny thing is that I didn’t notice a single gnat that day and have no memory of any gnats being present in the sanctuary. And while I had spent some time below the gnat line since I started going home with Debra, I certainly wasn’t a native and had not become acclimated to the little pests. It’s hard to believe that the gnats were just polite and so chose not to bother the bride and groom.
The difference in my experience and that of my family members, I think, was that I had more invested in the ceremony than they did and, being so invested, I noticed nothing other than the experience of marrying Debra. I’m not sure I would have noticed if the roof had caved in. I was there to marry Debra and nothing was going to distract me from that experience.
Perhaps there’s a lesson here about the ways in which we do or don’t experience God when we come to a worship service and about the ways in which we are or aren’t distracted by whatever little irritants circumstances or people or life send to visit us …