My wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in June. Not much time to really get to know a woman. New things come up all the time. For example, the other day as we were talking, something profound dawned on me. (Think “dawned” as in a vampire scrambling to take cover.) I have often felt quite impatient whenever we talked about the quality of our marriage. Many times I let it derail what could have been a very helpful conversation. Sometimes we’d end up in an argument. I’d plan to do better, pray about it, and repeat my mistake. I wrote my impatience off as differences in temperament, her imagination, job stress – you name it.
Then came the revelation: I had marked the beginning of our relationship from the day we first met (which she doesn’t even remember!). She more or less counts our relationship as beginning with “I do.” That’s about an eight-year head start for me. Apparently, buried somewhere in my psyche, was the expectation that she hadn’t caught up yet. No wonder the poor woman couldn’t get a break.
Epiphanies do not wait to be convenient. They come at awkward moments like when you are winning an argument with your wife and then see where you are wrong before she does. It’s a real test of character to fess up. Sometimes she gets the kind of man she deserves at that moment, and sometimes she has to wait.
You can tell something is a true revelation if you feel a bit ridiculous for not seeing it before. Everything seems so simple once the blind spot is gone. If you are lucky, revelations come with the delightful feeling of “unstuckness” – an obstacle of the mind and heart dissolving into freedom. More often for me they come with the responsibility of repentance, a heart-felt apology, and the three words a woman wants to hear most: You were right.
Statistically, June has more weddings than any other month – but I don’t know how many revelations. Weddings come with a lot of planning and an invitation well in advance. Epiphanies do not. The only thing they both have in common is a chance to RSVP.