Another midlife crisis - on the dance floor

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I had the privilege of celebrating a cousin’s wedding last week. My cousin and his fiancée live in New Zealand so when they kindly asked would I celebrate their wedding. I was on Trip Adviser straight away.

I had the privilege of celebrating a cousin’s wedding last week. My cousin and his fiancée live in New Zealand so when they kindly asked would I celebrate their wedding. I was on Trip Adviser straight away.

Indeed I was informed I would be travelling over water but not two oceans away, rather the River Bann. My cousin’s bride lives on the wrong side of the river Bann so last Friday morning I drove to Moneyglass which is on the outskirts of Toomebridge. I had a similar experience when another cousin met and married a Canadian girl. When asked to celebrate the wedding I hadn’t even time to check flights when I was told his fiancée wanted an Irish wedding. She wasn’t let down I can tell you, because it rained the whole day. Family weddings are great occasions for meeting up with family and friends. However, every silver lining has a cloud and in the context of a family wedding it’s known as the dance floor.

I’m having many occasions for a midlife crisis at the moment and when you discover you’re worse on the dance floor than your uncles it’s traumatic to say the least. What is reassuring is to discover how cousins who are ten years younger than you have nearly a full head of grey hair. I was warned too late that the band for the night was from Tyrone which meant we had a fair share of country music to keep the County Antrim natives happy. After an hour of the band playing I must confess I started having a hankering for John Denver. I couldn’t get ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ out of my head, not to mention ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’, ‘Rocky Mountain High’ and most embarrassing of all ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy.’ At this stage in my crisis point I had to check I wasn’t wearing a multi coloured check shirt, blue jeans and brown shoes and braces, all ready to line dance.

There is one John Denver song which does mean a lot and that’s ‘Annie’s Song’. On family occasions it reminds me of those who are no longer present, especially my grandmother, Annie. Friday was equally poignant because of absent family, especially my cousin’s mother. The greatest gifts in life are the people we have had the privilege of sharing our lives with. The women and men, family and friends who have shaped the person we have become, through their love, care and support. When trying to reveal the nature of the Kingdom of God Jesus emphasised how the kingdom needs to be welcomed as a gift. The Kingdom isn’t a remote place in the clouds far removed from this earth. The kingdom is built up here and now through the family of the Church. In as much as we treat one another as brothers and sisters we make God’s reign a reality. We pray for the grace to welcome the stranger and the outcast. For, we are, called to the kingdom together where one day we hope to be reunited with our loved ones.