As the public toasts started, the purpose was clear. A call to action, a group’s shout in unison, and then seated to reflect with one’s neighbor. First; To the President! Second; To the Queen! Third; To the ones that lead us!
As the toasts continued across dinner, a lingering rhetorical question stayed with me unanswered. Left unguided, who would I toast? How would it play out?
I wish I could say that my response was immediate; instead, it was slow in coming. As I tried one answers on after another, letting my imagination play each out.
With my recurring lack of satisfaction with my choices, I found myself returning to a psalm. “I’ll lift high the cup of salvation – a toast to God! I’ll pray in the name of God.” (Psalm 116.13) It is the one answer that made resonated within, equally answer the question to my heart and mind.
Along with the embrace, I realized the following.
A toast is an offering of respect. From my heart to another, from me to you in action and intent, a toast is a statement of the honor that I gift you and the trust I have in you. This statement is one of trust, faith, and ultimately a form of belief.
A toast is a celebration best done in the company of others. From me to you, I celebrate you and your life! I look up with hope and in happiness. While things may not be perfect, they are better because of you.
While a toast is complete within its self, the meaning of the toast is hollow unless followed by action. Simple or complex, easy to understand or unknown, it is our follow-up through actions in harmony or conflict that give a toast its full meaning and depth. There have been times where a toast was offered with an empty ring. Equally true are the toasts from the heart. With the first, each feel empty and pointless. With the second, I hear a call to fidelity and unconditional commitment.
“Lift you glass in a toast…”