There are many choices in life, but only two in eternity. You choose.
Last summer, my husband and I attended a wedding. The groom was the son of a man my husband hunts with, whom we got to know nearly thirty years ago while we were dating. The officiant for the wedding was a friend of theirs that they called, “Cuddy”. I had met Cuddy for the first time nearly thirty years ago, just one time. He was a little rough around the edges and he liked to party, so years later, when my husband told me he was a pastor, I thought, “ok, he probably got a license off the internet so he could perform the wedding”. I wasn’t expecting very much. The friends that would be at the wedding also liked to party so, as I got ready for the wedding, I wasn’t expecting much.
We arrived at the wedding, which was held in a barn. It was a unusually hot September day in Western Pennsylvania and the seating for the ceremony was in the hot sun. My husband and I sat on the right hand side and our friends all sat near us. Shortly before the ceremony began, Cuddy went to the front of the makeshift alter and asked everyone to pause for a moment to pray for the day, the event, the guests, attendants and the couple getting married. I’ve played for many weddings, but never have I seen a pastor stop the prelude music to pray for the wedding couple.
The music resumed and the attendants made their way down the aisle toward the alter. After they were all up front, and the sweat began to bead on their brows, Cuddy began. He welcomed everyone and said that he knew it was hot, but that he had a short message that he knew he needed to share. He said that he knew, as soon as the couple asked him to perform the ceremony, what he wanted to share.
He began by talking about how, when he was a little boy, his family lived across the street from a church. He attended the church for years, but never really heard the message. He grew up, and married, and had children. His wife would take the kids to church and Vacation Bible School when they were little. His children came home from VBS all excited to share the songs that they had learned with him. As they sang about the stories of the Bible, he was embarrassed because they sang about things he didn’t know, even though he grew up in church. He said, “I didn’t know”. He didn’t want his children to know he didn’t know, so he waited until they went to bed that night, and shared with his wife how embarrassed he was. He opened a Bible and began and began to study the stories, and as he did that, the Holy Spirit got ahold of his heart and began to change it. He developed a passion to know more, and as he sought, God shaped him into who He wanted him to be. It wasn’t instantaneous, but God began to shape his thoughts and his life, until he got to a place where he surrendered his whole life to Christ. He went on to share a salvation message to all of the people who were there, and gave an open invitation for them to accept Christ as he had done.
When he learned of the opportunity to perform the wedding ceremony, he knew immediately that he wanted to share his testimony with his friends, many of whom had known him, like I did, before God got ahold of his life.
By this point, I was sitting beside my husband, dumbfounded, trying to hold back tears. Then he said this: “There are some of you here today who didn’t know. Now you know”.
See, we have a choice of what we do with the words that we hear. There are many choices in life, but only two in eternity. Now you know.
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