family · marriage · motivation · personality · romance

DON’T HOPE, DECIDE

Don’t just have Hope,… Decide!
While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport, I
had one of those life-changing experiences that
you hear other people talk about — the kind that
sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one
occurred a mere two feet away from me.
Straining to locate my friend among the
passengers deplaning through the jet way, I
noticed a man coming toward me carrying two
light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet
his family.
First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six
years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave
each other a long, loving hug. As they separated
enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the
father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed
you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly,
averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his
oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping
his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already
quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!”
They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps
one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly
in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little
eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning
father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently
took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed
her face all over and then held her close to his
chest while rocking her from side to side. The
little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head
on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.
After several moments, he handed his daughter to
his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best
for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the
longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember
seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several
seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so
much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming
big smiles at one another, while holding both
hands.
For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds,
but I knew by the age of their kids that they
couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a
moment then realized how totally engrossed I was
in the wonderful display of unconditional love not
more than an arm’s length away from me. I
suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading
something sacred, but was amazed to hear my
own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have
you two been married?
“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve
of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze
from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long
have you been away?” I asked. The man finally
turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous
smile. “Two whole days!”
Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the
greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at
least several weeks – if not months. I know my
expression betrayed me.
I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my
intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to
get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my
marriage is still that passionate after twelve
years!”
The man suddenly stopped smiling.
He looked me straight in the eye, and with
forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he
told me something that left me a different person.
He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he
flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my
hand and said, “God bless!”

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