Updated: Sep 6, 2022
(I originally wrote this article while I was planning my wedding in 2008. I can’t believe it’s already been that long!)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV)
Today, I was ready to elope. It took three months, or approximately 60% of the time we had to plan our wedding, but I finally reached the point where I seriously questioned whether all this work was worth it. Eloping would be cheaper, faster and less stressful. Yes, this is me taking back everything I said about how I would love to plan a big, fancy wedding.
But I didn’t elope. Why? Obviously, I wouldn’t want to forfeit the thousands of dollars we’ve already paid out; also because our parents would be deeply disappointed (though perhaps only until they realized how much money they’d be saving). But mostly because I know that when I’m walking down the aisle, surrounded by people I love, feeling like a princess and getting married to the man of my dreams… I’ll be glad I stuck it out.
So I keep plugging away. I know what I have to do; my tasks are all in a list that cheerfully highlights everything I should have finished already. I know that my friends have helped and will continue to help immensely. And I know that, regardless of whether the cake melted or the sound system failed, on November 16, I’ll wake up married!
As you may have realized already, given the verse at the top, I’m drawing a parallel with the Christian journey. We start out with such aspirations. Step aside, Billy Graham: ours will be the greatest spiritual journey mankind has ever seen! Then we realize how much work that would be. Jesus told us that we’d have to take up our cross daily to follow him (Luke 9:23). He warned us that we’d have trouble (John 16:33). Soon enough, we’re tempted to compromise or even quit altogether.
But that would be the short-sighted thing to do. In this world we may have trouble, but in the very same verse we’re reminded that Jesus has overcome the world! He’s given us the Bible and the Holy Spirit so that we’ll know what he wants of us. He’s put us into community so that we’ll have friends to help us along the way. Though I technically can’t guarantee that nothing catastrophic will happen before my wedding, God can and does promise that literally nothing — in this world or the world unseen — will keep us from his love (Romans 8:38-39). We are destined for a future beyond compare, a future in which tears and pain and death will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4) and we will bask in his glory forever. If that’s not worth looking forward to, I don’t know what is!
Of course, unlike with a wedding, we don’t have the advantage of knowing when exactly we’ll get there. I’ve been counting down the days to my wedding since 115; knowing that every second brings me closer to it is exciting and motivating. But even though we can’t count down the days until we reach heaven, remembering that it’s our destiny can give us the strength we need to keep going.