I guess not everyone could hear me very well delivering my best man speech at the wedding reception for Scott and Julie this past weekend. So, I’m going to post it for the world to see. It’s fairly long, so read at your own discretion.
Before I talk about Scott, I just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the supporting cast in all of this. Scott and I have been blessed with the best group of friends you’ll ever find–and I’m completely honest about that statement. You don’t find friends who stick together like we have over the years. So, guys in the wedding party, and the rest of you in the crowd, thanks so much. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due, because Scott and I are both who we are and have enjoyed the friendship that we have because of you guys.
About half of you will know this about Scott and I–and the other half of you probably won’t. Scott and I have been friends forever. We had a mutual friend–Darin Keim–way back in elementary school and the rest is pretty much history. We share so many common interests and we just hit it off. The journey was obviously not without hic-ups–our first living-together experience our freshman year of college could have gone better–but we’ve gone on to spend five out of the last seven years living together. And we haven’t gotten sick of each other. So, something obviously worked out.
One thing I’ve learned about Scott over the years–besides his great love for sleep–is that he’s a clutch performer of the rarest kind. Any of you who spent time either watching him play sports as he grew up, or actually played sports with him, know what I’m talking about. When the stakes are the highest, he simply rises to the occasion again and again and again. He’s the one who wants to take the last shot. He’s the one who wants to sink the key put. He wants to make the big tackle. He wants to serve the final ace. And he does it time and time again. And unfortunately, I’m usually the one who has to try guarding him and stopping him. And it usually doesn’t work. Even with non-sporting stuff like video games or cards, it doesn’t matter. Scott is just dominant at whatever he does.
I remember one of many 3-on-3 basketball tournaments we played in while we were in elementary and jr. high school. It was a close game and all of sudden, Scott took over. He was just throwing junk at the rim from way past the three-point line and it was going in. It was ridiculous. But, of course, it was to my benefit because I was on his team. So, it was great.
But when you’re a competitive peer of his, like me, it can sometimes get pretty annoying. I remember driving over to Puffy’s with Scott for a poker night a couple years ago. I don’t claim to be a great poker player or anything, I just went for fun. We all put in 10 or 20 bucks or something like that. The night was progressing on and I was of course loosing most of my money, but still having fun. Well, I finally laded a pretty good hand–something I felt I could really put some substantial chips on. I think it was a queen-high full house or something like that–something that 95% of the time wouldn’t be beaten in Texas Hold-em.
Well, you know the end of the story. Scott beat my hand and that was the end of the night for me. I think he had queens too, but this other cards where higher. Typical. I left the evening $20 poorer; Scott: like $65 richer. Last night’s poker was more of the same. Just ask Clark.
So, Scott is clutch.
Good thing, because he now he faces his greatest challenge ever: to love Julie as Christ loves the church. I can’t think of a higher calling because Christ went all the way for the church. He gave His life.
Christ loves the church unconditionally. He constantly intercedes for her and believes in her. He’s excited about her–about meeting his bride. He was and still is willing to do whatever necessary to ensure the great wedding feast in heaven happens, and that he is united with her, and that she is beautiful.
And so, that’s your challenge Scott: To be like Jesus. To love Julie as Christ loves you and me and the rest of us–his church.
It’s a high call, but don’t sweat it, buddy. I know you’re up for it. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the rest of your years spent with Julie will be your greatest clutch performance ever.
So, brother, it’s going to be really weird not living with you. We’ve done it for so long and we’ve gone through so much together. I mean, who’s going to wake me up for Saturday morning basketball? And, who’s going to keep you up with movies in the basement? Who’s going to turn lights out you leave on or tell you to be more creative with your cooking? Who’s going to loan me cash?
Those are unanswered questions, but regardless, I’m really excited about this next season in your life. And I’m grateful I get to be in the area and be a support for you during it.
I hope, along the way, we can still watch Gone in 60 Seconds and Armageddon and Days of Thunder and Boiler Room and Band of Brothers. I hope we can work out together and throw the Frisbee and grill burgers and burn large piles of old construction material. I hope we’ll play Tiger Woods and talk about books we’re reading and play basketball and build garages and decks. I hope we can head out west again and sleep on rocks in 30 degree air and drive a 4-cylinder Kia around the canyons and mountains of Utah and Arizona. I hope sometime again we can strap on pads and helmets and defend an end zone side-by-side when the game is on the line, or lay the hurt on the practice squad running back–Otis.
I don’t hope we’ll ever have to suck water out of a basement again… and I don’t hope we’ll ever attempt to again lay carpet together. That wasn’t much fun.
But driving jet skis and knee boarding around Sand Point was. And so was playing in Red Hackers and SugarSmashers and AutumnFests. I hope we can play smear-the-queer in the snow again or little league baseball under the sun. I hope we can visit Stonehenge or tour London or see Isle of Skye together again. I hope we can coach poorly-skilled third graders in the game of basketball or maybe even our finely-skilled sons in the game of football. I hope we’ll be euchre partners again and play Up and Back every night for a month. I hope we’ll drive back and forth between Spring Arbor and Pigeon every weekend for two semesters. I hope we’ll keep visiting the cabin up north and watching March Madness non-stop. The Pistons and the Lions and the Tigers too.
I hope someday you can take me hunting and I can take you skydiving.
I hope, I hope… we can lay hands on the sick together and watch them be healed. I hope we can set some captives free and proclaim liberty to the oppressed. See broken hearts bound like your and mine have been. I hope we can see the Kingdom come and God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I hope we can run the race so that we’ll win–with perseverance, with diligence, with excellence… together. Once as boys, now as men.
Scott, you’ve been as good a friend as I could ever imagine. And I’m confident that just as our friendship has grown and adapted to change over the years, it will continue to and endure. It’s obvious it was meant to.
And so I hope for these things, not with 21st Century American hope, but with the hope your amazing wife brought to the table some months ago at small group–hope that is a confident expectation that something will certainly come to pass. It’s a Biblical hope.
And now, I’d like to bless your marriage to Julie with this prayer:
In the Name of Jesus Christ, I bless you with the promises of God which are “yes and amen”. May the Holy Spirit make you healthy and strong in body, mind, and spirit to move in faith and expectancy. May God’s angels be with you to protect and keep you.
May you be blessed with supernatural strength to turn your eyes from foolish, worthless, and evil things. Instead, may you behold the beauty of things that God has planned for you as you obey His Word.
I bless your ears to hear the lovely, the uplifting, and the encouraging, and to shut out the demeaning and the negative. May your feet walk in holiness and your steps be ordered by the Lord. May your hands be tender-helping hands to those in need, hands that bless. May your heart be humble and receptive to one another and to the things of God and not to the world. May your mind be strong, disciplined, balanced, and faith-filled.
May God’s grace be upon your home, that it may be a sanctuary of rest and renewal, a haven of peace where sounds of joy and laughter grace its walls, where love and unconditional acceptance of one another is consistent.
May God give you success and prosperity in your business and places of labor as you acknowledge and obey the imperative of Scripture concerning the tithe.
May God give you spiritual strength to overcome the evil one and avoid temptation. My God’s grace be upon you to fulfill your dreams and visions. May goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your long lives.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
Scott and Julie, I BLESS YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS.