I have never heard it put that way until our Indian guide asked if our son’s marriage was an“Arranged Marriage”or a “Love Marriage”…..what?
Imagine a country of a billion people who in many parts still practice such a tradition. You may recall my last post had a picture of a 12th century 300′ tower in Dehli. We learned they had to close the access to the top because distraught couples, unhappy with their parents’ marriage choice, were leaping to their death. This is a 4,500 year old culture full of unbelievable talent. But, also such paradoxical tradition.
There’s so much to learn about India and its history. I take back comments from an earlier post this week. After driving 500 miles the last three days, visiting scores of cities and villages, and talking to many Indians, there’s a remarkable history here. And once out of Dehli, it was quite apparent India is truly an economic threat.
Speaking of talent, check out this Neemrana Palace/Fort built in the 1400’s and recently turned into a resort. It seems odd we have heard so much about old Italian, French, or Greek architecture but never about Indian. This place was remarkable. First, it sits 700 feet up on a mountain side. Check out the beauty of these doors that still work 600 years later. The gardens and architectural detail throughout were just stunning.
It’s not the Taj Mahal, but remarkable all the same. And I’ve only shared pictures of a few buildings. Temples, forts and shrines, dating back 800-900 years, are everywhere. It’s hard to grasp how much talent these Indians have and have demonstrated for thousands of years.
But, back to this “Arranged or Love Marriage” issue. Ponder the message to a child when you tell them what career they will pursue and what spouse they will marry. It’s clear they must be submissive and follow along. That’s a message that doesn’t build passion and commitment, nor curiosity and innovation. In fact, our one night’s stay at this fairy tale fort above would pay the rent for five months of the hundreds who served us. It makes you feel quite undeserving.
People in the north here are kind, gentle, and just follow along. But as you move south, where much of this autocratic attitude has disappeared, you can see and feel these people coming alive. The skyline is dotted with sky cranes and there is construction everywhere. That is where the economic engine is. That is where our new global competition is already developing.
Having spent 25 hours in a hot bus the last three days one’s mind ponders a bit. I kept thinking…how about our faith in Christ? How about the faith of those in our congregation. Is it an “Arranged Marriage” with Christ out of convenience? An arranged faith that neatly fits into OUR LIFE? Or is it a “Love Marriage” that is growing deeper and deeper in our understanding and commitment to get beyond ourselves and serve others? Are we actually building our spiritual muscle and becoming an authentic engine for Christianity in our communities? How about your church….how about your own journey…I’d love your comments.