So I had this dream...
It was an elegant linen cream envelope that I pulled from the mailbox. The elaborate calligraphy inscribed on the front was addressed to me, and I slit open the paper with excitement. A classically styled invitation announced the wedding of a dear family friend--almost a second father--to a dear cousin, and I couldn't have been more elated.
Except, of course, when I received a call a few days later from the groom-to-be. "We were wondering," he began, with very little preliminaries, "if you are available to come early and help out with all the preparations. I know my bride would appreciate the help getting ready for the big day!"
"Oh, of course!" I agreed, most honored to be asked.
One week before the wedding was to occur, I arrived in town. "Oh, we have so much catching up to do!" I declared, as I slid into the backseat. The bride and groom had come to pick me up from the airport together. How cute! "So how did it happen--how did you get engaged?" I pressed, and they smilingly gave up all the details on the event. We stopped for dinner, and before I knew it, the evening was gone. I went to my hotel room with promises to call the next morning for instructions.
The next morning, I got up bright and early and made my way downstairs to the lobby for breakfast, when who should I run into, but an old friend, also there for the wedding! We chatted all morning, before I excused myself to go call the bride and get busy.
"Oh, hi!" She exclaimed. "Say, can you hold on for a minute?" I waited patiently, thumbing through a tourist magazine. "I'm back! Sorry about that--I was in the middle of a dress fitting. So, when can you come help?"
Dress fitting! I sat up with a start, remembering the dress I was planning on wearing to the wedding--the dress that was still fabric yardage and pattern paper in my suitcase at this point. "Well..." I stalled. "I actually just remembered something really important. I haven't finished the dress I'm wearing for the wedding yet."
"Oh," she paused. "OK. No problem. You work on that and give me a call as soon as you're ready, OK?"
"Sure thing! Talk to you soon! Oh--and can I borrow a sewing machine?" The rest of that day and the following day were completely consumed with sewing. Not to worry, however--with four days left for the wedding, I was ready to pitch in and help.
My first task was bird seed. First, I spent a good long while researching on Pinterest just exactly the perfect method for creating birdseed packets. I then proceeded to create origami envelopes and fill each one with birdseed. Creating 500 of these took quite a bit of time (two days, to be exact).
Two days till the wedding: "What needs to be done?" I texted the bride. Almost immediately, she sent four text messages, one right after another, all filled with her to-do list. I couldn't help but feel peeved. "Don't you think this is a bit much? :( " I texted back. To which I received no reply, but on my way out of the hotel, I made sure to share my sentiments with my friend as well, who thoroughly sympathized with my feelings.
To cope, I spent the morning in a corner of the church thoroughly reading a definitive book on weddings by Martha Stewart. Upon completion, I was thoroughly schooled in the art of what not to do for weddings, and I lent my expertise wherever it was needed. The day before the wedding was spent in busy preparation, as well as documentation (of course, I knew all my facebook/twitter/blogger/pinterest/myspace/flickr/tumblr/instagram/youtube/wordpress fans were just dying for updates!).
That night, it hit me--look at all that was left to be done! I spent the entire night frantically scrambling to help finish the food and decorations, my tired brain too fuzzy to consider Martha Stewart's remonstrances any longer. I awoke on the day of the wedding exhausted and with barely enough time to slip into my dress, brush my hair (and my teeth), and find my shoes.
I'm a procrastinator at heart--what of it? We got it all done, the wedding was pulled off in fabulous style, and I made it to the church before the kiss!
When I got back home and had a solid eight hours of sleep behind me, however, I began to contemplate an impending wedding of much greater proportions. Would I be the foolish, unprepared virgin at that event as I was at this one? Would the week of the wedding find me engaged in all manner of idiotic, inane activities as the week of this wedding did? Would I be grumbling and gossiping against the Bride--the Church--as I was against my cousin?
"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles....But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:1-3a, 7-8).'"
The end of all things is at hand; haven't I spent enough of my past lifetime in serving the whims of my flesh and the world?
And then I woke up. ;-)
Photo Credit: 4ThGlryOfGod
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Note: This is a parable--a work of fiction. It did not happen.