The Bride’s Dilemma

As a kid, I was a shy and introverted bookworm until I discovered the power of getting involved in something – connections and friendships.  It started with my church’s kids’ choir at age nine; then, I got into inter-school debating, quiz teams, cheerleading, girls guide, and on and on I went, all the way into my adult life as a follower of Christ. But deep inside, I was a tired and mentally overwhelmed introvert who didn’t know how to slow it down and “be still” because activity had become my crutch.

This realization fell on me like a ton of bricks some years ago when I finally burnt out physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s what it took to get me to stop and discover what was truly important! I remember days when all I could pray was: God, take me back to my first love…I want to fall in love with you.” During that season, God taught me something wonderful through this scenario about a bridegroom and his bride:

“Which bride after getting a proposal from her beloved, does not get excited about the prospect of being married to him? That is, if she truly loves her man. However, there are brides who get excited mostly at the prospect of the wedding - the gown, decorations, guests, catering, honeymoon destination, and the list goes on. After all, a bride has a lot to do to make the day memorable! But wouldn't it be truly sad if all that time is spent in a flurry of activities and hardly spent on strengthening their relationship?

Now imagine that the groom keeps trying to spend quality time with the bride but she's so distracted by the wedding plans. He asks that they spend time getting to know each other more; time to form a deeper bond that cannot be easily broken. But she can hardly help herself as the wedding plans have taken on a life of its own. She can't understand why he won't stop asking to "spend quality time," which in her opinion means sitting around wasting time when he should make more time to help her with planning the wedding. “There's so much work to do…it would be irresponsible to just hang out!’  ‘Can’t we spend quality time and discuss the wedding plans at the same time?’ she asks him.

Would you fault the bridegroom if he questions whether his bride is wholly committed to him and is really into Him rather than the idea of getting married?”

This scenario helped me understand that my past actions said to God: “I love you but quality time with you is not as important as being ready for ‘this wedding.’ {Plug in whatever “this wedding’ meant in my reality.} I was majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors. I was so obsessed with what had to be done that I lost sight of the weightier matter – building a bond with HIM…a bond that can never be broken.

But after a long and tiresome journey of discovering what matters to Him, I am learning to sit with Him, turn my eyes upon Jesus and look full on His face, allowing everything else to grow dim in the light of His glory and love.

Once in a while, I slip into my old ways…acting like a “Martha” while wrongly assuming I’m “Mary” because I confuse my activities for quality time with Him. Not wanting to let go because I feel it’s so very important to Him. “There are things I must do for You,” I say, half listening to Jesus while filling my life with activities merely out of habit instead of love and purpose. Then He graciously allows something to happen that snaps me out of my foolishness and gets my focus back on what really matters. The result? I have not reached perfection but I am discovering the joys of being partly an introverted bookworm and partly a fun-loving woman who enjoys getting involved in activities inspired by time spent with Him.

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