Today we celebrate simultaneously the birthday of my father-in-law and the anniversary of the day he first met his future wife and our baba so many years ago. I hear a toast this evening at dinner that I have never heard before: “Here’s to finding or discovering a path/road for our life.” (za zheezin na darogu in Russian)
It opens for me the significance of a chance encounter of two young people who fall in love. As the great Charles Dickens once said, there are certain moments in time like this, that we ought not take for granted:
But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day. (Great Expectations)
As we sit around the table and unravel the long chain of events leading to our present good company, we are struck again with thankfulness to God for his wonderful providence. For it is nothing less than divine providence which leads us down each of our life paths to converge together for tonight’s celebration.