What I Asked For But Didn’t Want

I walked into the house after a long day at work. I found Christie in the living room. She looked at me and said,

Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry. In five days from now he’s gonna marry. He’s hopin’ you can make it there if you can ’cause in the ceremony you’ll…

What a minute, never mind, that was Young MC not my wife. She actually said one of her friends from work was getting married and she wanted to go. Brace yourself for a sigh of epic proportions followed by my reluctant agreement to go. Don’t get me wrong–I am not a love hater. However, there are some facts you should know.

Pipe_organAs a single man, weddings are awesome. They mean free food, a semi-decent live band, and a ton of starry-eyed, out-of-town chics smitten by the romantic atmosphere. That all spells a black book bonanza. A seasoned fellow could fill six months’ worth of dates at one big wedding.

The problem is I was already married. That changes everything. Add to that the fact I didn’t know either party getting married and the best I could hope for is a triangle egg salad sandwich and some punch. There is the outside chance the children in the ceremony would do something Youtube worthy.

Forget the lure of free food. Married men pay for it. They pay by sitting through the ceremony.

The fateful day came, a Saturday. Brilliant spring time sunshine blazed as light breezes frolicked about in swirls. I was about to ruin this pristine day with a tie and quiet tradition.

Add twenty minutes of ironing to one hour of grooming. Toss in an additional hour and a half of drive time to get to the church in historic Charleston, South Carolina. For good measure mix in another 35 minutes of parking space stalking and walking back to the church in the heat. It all adds up to “Why did I do this?”

We entered the cathedral, a huge affair constructed in the 1700’s complete with pipe organ. All I could think of was the Princess Dianna wedding and the manifold hours it took. OH EMM GEE! I should have packed a fruit roll-up or something.

Cue the music, escort the grandmothers in. We are live. I was giddy at the prospect of getting this over with, but what happened next stunned me.

Grandmas sat. Prayers prayed. Vows exchanged. One song sung and the couple is presented. Grandma walked out. IT. IS. OVER.

Seven minutes start to finish.

I looked at my wife and said, “The reception better be killer–I’ve got more than three hours in this thing.”

Why was I mad? I was disgruntled the whole time. I wanted it to be over before it started. It almost was. I got exactly what I wanted, then wasn’t satisfied when I got it. It turns out I didn’t want it.

My Christian walk is just like that. I pray and ask God for what I believe to be good for me. Sometimes He gives it to me only to hear my whining and complaining about how crappy it is.

Why don’t I just do my job and let God do His?

Circumstance was a cruel mistress that Saturday afternoon but she made up for it that evening. We walked into the reception hall and I saw what has come to be known as “Roast Beefzilla.” It was the biggest slab of slow-roasted ecstasy I have ever layed eyes on.

As if that weren’t enough, it was flanked by Turkeygantuan and Shrimpocalypse. Yes, the reception WAS worth it.

Do you push God for your own way? Do you complain when you get it?  

3 thoughts on “What I Asked For But Didn’t Want

Add yours

  1. The problem is, most of what I ask for from God looks different in my mind than what it turns out to be. Its like those rosy pictures they paint at homeschool conventions of children sitting quietly listening with rapt attention to what you are are saying, then hugging you for the obvious love you have shown them during the lesson while your heart brims with love as you watch them walk off to do their lessons. No one ever talked about the tantrums, the stoney glares as you tell them that they failed to do the lesson properly or that 2+2 does not equal 5, the one child who interrupts to make a joke or exploding noise or a combination of each, or even the passive aggressive ones that say, “Oh, I couldn’t find my assignment (sitting on top of their desk) so I couldn’t do it.” Hurt feelings, forgiveness and sacrifice are always part of the job He gives us. We become better through the process and get a better appreciation for how incredibly patient God is with us but it certainly is a pain-filled process. Does that answer your question? (Today is a good day of homeschooling, BTW, almost close to the rose-colored scenario, which God gives me on occasion to encourage me to keep going).


    1. You knocked it out of the park with your first sentence. That is exactly my problem. It looks good from my perspective. Congrats on a good home school day. They’re tough to come by sometimes.


      1. If I ever do the homeschool seminar after I finish THAT race, it will be entitled “Surviving Homeschool: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. Of course the real message would be how God redeems even your worst nightmares of a day and schools EVERYONE!


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