WELL, I DIDN’T CATCH A PHOTO today, too busy with the vicaring. But, lovely as I’m sure the official photos will turn out to be, nobody present at Simon & Sarah’s wedding today would need a photo to remind them of the palpable excitement in the air, and in both of them. And I do believe that that kind of excitement changes the world. It’s infectious, it’s beautiful, it’s delightful, it’s faith-full, it’s hopeful, it hints at the fullness of life and it challenges dreary acceptance of dull mediocrity. And they and we need to maintain it with our every prayer.
And I wonder whether even excitement has at its genesis that old word “repent” that keeps cropping up in lives that are even a bit religiously-minded. Repent, I mean, as I’ve meant before, in the turning around sense of the word, the change of attitude of mind sense of the word. Have excited people simply decided to meet life in this world head on? Have excited people observed that life in this world is marvellous and extraordinary? I think they have. And excitement may be found even in sad, difficult or tragic situations. I remember, still humbled and grateful, a conversation I had with a paraplegic when I was a very young teenager. “I’ve been bedridden for most of my life”, Frank said, “but though my temper wanes on occasions there’s never been a day when I haven’t woken up with excitement, and given thanks to God for the pure gift of being alive. Listen to those birds …”
I’ve been thinking about what I have to be excited about today, and could fill several pages of a journal, could paint pictures, make photographs, dream dreams. As can all of us when we “turn around” and think about it. When we reach out to Life, and life, with both hands and full hearts. May Simon & Sarah ever remain excited, and may they know themselves blessed. And may their excitement continue to engender further excitement in others. And may yours, and mine, too.