An arranged life
Jana and I returned last evening from the mountains of North Carolina, where we celebrated the wedding of a young couple in, what was commonly referred to by the two families-- not entirely unironically-- as an "arranged" marriage.
Curious term. We thought such things only happened in cultures far away.
Indeed, the story of this bride and groom met is a textbook "set-up." He in New York, she in Charlotte. Her best friend is the daughter of his mom's best friend. They eventually meet under the loving calculations of these mutual friends, and are promised against their protestation that they will hit it off.
They do. They fall in love. They marry. It's an arrangement.
Aren't all our lives arranged by parties and powers outside us who know us better than we know ourselves? We are on the planet not because of any agency of our own, but because two folks conspired to make it so. Whatever the quality of their relationship, they made an arrangement for us to show up.
That we are alive today is attributed not so much to our own powers of self-preservation, but to all kinds of forces converging and collaborating for our good. Did we recruit them? Employ them? Properly pay them? Did we deserve them?
Parents, family, friends, teachers, pastors, mentors, colleagues, healers. They simply meet us, like angels, at just the right intersection, giving us the spiritual and physical provision we need to continue the journey. We don't order them up, like pizza. They appear, as if special arrangement has been made.
Join me today in a weird and wonderful imagination. Be one of those famed flowers of the field Jesus talks about. They don't toil or worry. Sunshine and soil provide them everything they need to be more beautiful than a king's palace. All they have to do is be lovely. That's the arrangement.
I reminded this bride and groom of their arranged marriage.
They reminded me of my arranged life.