A place where ideas stir the waters of our mind.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Misunderstood Invitations, Part 3

Imagine for a moment that we are playing the roles of the King's Servants in a parable. Today, the King's Son is getting married, and the King has spared no expense to honor His Son by preparing a royal banquet. We don't know the King, His Son or Their Hearts well yet, but we are incredibly excited to serve.

The invitations were sent by the King weeks ago, and He joyfully honored many in His realm by including them in His plans. We carried the royal invitations to all those invited to the banquet, and were careful to keep track of the numbers who accepted the gracious invitation. And, not surprisingly, just about everyone said, "Yes, I'd love to come to the King's banquet to Honor the Son."

For weeks, the King was busy making generously abundant provision for all who planned to attend. He chose only the best wine, and let the bakers know that a big order was coming. His herdsman selected the most prized calves and sheep for the banquet. Early on the day of the banquet, the smell of roasting meat filled the palace. With mounting excitement, the King looked joyfully at His Son, and then motioned us forward. "Go," he said, "Go to my invited guests and let them know that the great feast to honor my Son is now ready."

With great anticipation, we each set off to the homes of the honored guests - only to stare in horrified disbelief as each now refused to attend. In fact, the excuses were so crazy (like buying a bunch of oxen without a test drive or warranty) that we began to wonder if anyone understood the invitation we carried to them weeks ago! What could have happened? When we heard the last refusal, we trudged home to report to the King. Our minds struggled to make sense of it all. How could the King's amazing plans all fall apart like this?

"Surely," we reasoned to ourselves, "nobody would dishonor the King and His Son by refusing their invitation. How could they?" Deciding that our reasoning was correct, we pondered further.

"If the King knew that nobody was coming, why was He so joyful - and why did He go to all the trouble of creating such incredible banquet? And why would He ask us to work so hard to fulfill His plans?” We scratched our head in bewilderment, and finally concluded, "Our King is wise, and would neither spend His time nor waste our time on plans that just don't work out." The reason for The King's joy continued to escape us.

Our next thought so terrified us that we stopped dead in our tracks. "This must be my fault! The King had a plan, told me about it, sent me to help fulfill it, and the whole thing failed miserably. The King can't be wrong, so I must have failed as a messenger!” Horrified by our thoughts, our minds raced to figure out what we should, could or might have done to ensure a better outcome. With downcast faces and eyes full of shame, we walked home to face The King.

And so, our story ends for now with 2 questions:

     1. Is our joy the exquisite, delightful pleasure of walking and working with the King?

     2. Can Our King's Heart actually send us on a mission that He knows will not seem to succeed?

What kind of ripples do your answers make?