And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Mark 10:8-9 (NIV)
It is wedding week, and I have been thinking a lot about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. It is a lesson that our Sunday School teacher often reminds us of. Efficient sets a goal, gets the things done that need to be done with the least amount of fuss or bother and reaches that goal in record time. Effective also reaches the goal, but with more care for making an impact, taking into account relationships, future possibilities and long range strategies. I lean heavily towards efficient. I plan the route of my to do list, geographically linking errands, allotting only so much time for each stop. I have been known to hide among the grocery aisles until I can make a quick getaway if I see someone from a distance that will get me off schedule. But, our Sunday School teacher urges us to be effective. To take time for those “divine appointments” where we have the opportunity to unexpectedly encourage one another. To think to eternity and look beyond the immediate. This week, I have often been called to chose effective over efficient. Though I understand the needs and the importance of being effective, choosing to be so has pushed me to the limit of my patience and endurance. Take for example the table centerpieces. They were relatively simple to make. A big vase with a bed of river stones in the bottom, a silk orchid blossom, water beads, more orchids and more water beads in layers. Pour in water, the water beads disappear, and put a floating candle on the top. Ten minutes max to assemble one. Probably only five. Left to my own desires, I would have had those done last week. I even tested one to see how long in advance they could be made. But, youngest son’s fiancée, M., wanted not only to help, but to make a party out of getting ready for the wedding. She wanted to bring both sides of the family together and begin building more than wedding centerpieces, but bonds of family. So, much different than my “Let’s just get this done” attitude. That’s how we found ourselves yesterday divided into small groups across family lines and alongside new friends, ironing tablecloths, assembling paper lanterns, placing candles in candleholders, spray painting the wish tree, tying ribbon on wish cards and yes, layering river rocks, water beads, and orchid blossoms. The same thing happened again this morning as those same people gathered at the garden center to decorate the tables, place the wishing tree and hang the paper lanterns. Youngest son’s grandma worked with M.’s grandma to place the paper goods on the food table while youngest son’s aunts worked with M.’s cousin to decorate the tables. The ties that bind us all together grew stronger while we worked and when we left the garden center, we were one family where there had been two. I think M. and my Sunday School teacher have the right idea.