It is finals season at BYU, so it's been a weird week on the missionary side of things in Provo. Some days we would be booked the entire day and running around to appointments, and other days everybody would cancel (because finals suck) and we would spend the entire day finding and knocking on doors of strangers. You know you're blessed when you've been a missionary for 7 whole months--and knocking on strangers' doors feels like a foreign activity because you've rarely had to (too many people to teach up in here whoop whoop). We're a little terrified of the week to come; we have 7 (7!!!) teaching appointments just tomorrow, and then everybody is moving back to China because the semester has ended. So our teaching pool might die. I predict a whiplash in busy-ness in the next few weeks. I'll have to learn to be a door-knocking pro. 😓
This week I have been thinking a lot about the parable of the great supper. In Luke 14, Jesus tells story of "a certain man [who] made a great supper, and bade many", and when the feast is ready, he tells his servant to let the guests know that everything is ready now. One friend bails and says he cannot come because he needs to inspect some new land he has purchased. Another friend says he has bought new oxen, and needs to go take care of them. Another friend says he's got a new wife, so he cannot come. This guy just wants to have a party and feed his friends free food and everyone bails. So sad.
God just wants to have a party with us and give us free things, but so many times we just bail and make stupid excuses! How lame of us! All these alternate activities his friends are doing weren't necessarily bad; but it's pretty rude, especially since these guests seem to have already made a commitment to come. We can fill our lives with activities with things that aren't necessarily bad - buying land, checking out your sweet new ride, spending time with your family - but if we have already promised God that "yes I want the thing I'll be there when it's ready" but we aren't there to receive it, we have taken for granted a generosity. We have wasted somebody's love, broken their hearts, and maybe even lost their trust.
God has prepared a feast for all of us. In 2 Nephi chapter 32 it says, "feast upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ shall tell you all things what ye should do." If we were to only feast on the scriptures, the words of the prophet, and inspired thoughts of each other at church, we will be fed with infinite knowledge, direction, and guidance. We would never be lost or confused. We would all be happy, and it would be a great party!
Here is this cool talk that I found on the parable that has super cool thoughts on the parable. Elder Hammond basically says that dinner party etiquettes apply to our spirituality wellness:
1. Don't cancel (If you've made a commitment, keep the commitment!)
2. Don't be late ("Ye shall not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end" You'll miss the appetizers!)
3. Eat everything delicious thing you're served (Don't deny yourself blessings)
4. Don't leave early (There are dessert-blessings to come!)