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Finishing the Engagement Well

Gosh I honestly don’t know what to write about. It is #weddingweek. This Saturday at 2 oclock I get married to the most wonderful person I’ve ever met. I am so stressed.

It’s the worst kind of stress honestly. The kind that floats, unable to pin it down. I am constantly thinking there is something else that I am supposed to be doing, whether it is cleaning the apartment, getting last minute crafts ready, or answering one of the multitudes of texts coming into my phone with wedding questions.

I guess what I’m discovering is that stress makes it difficult to finish things well. Friends had told me that the last week before marriage was the toughest one. That fights came up for no reason, feelings got hurt etc. When I get texts about the wedding, I want to get frustrated, “Why can’t they just look at the website? Why don’t my groomsmen know this, that or whatever.” But that is the battle of finishing well. When the stress ramps up, we get selfish. I want to make it all about me. I want to protect my feelings, and my stress. That is the opposite of finishing well. When Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” it wasn’t a marathon he had just finished. It was a long and arduous journey filled with imprisonment, beatings, and being ostracized. In other words: Paul was stressed out.

Finishing well isn’t simply about completing “the project” or whatever it is that is at hand. Finishing well is maintaining selflessness when stress tries to force you to be selfish. Simple to say, hard to do.

This week, I haven’t been doing a great job. Meredith and I have gotten in a few tiffs, and I become locked up at times thinking of all the little tasks between now and Saturday. But thankfully, I have been given this opportunity to finish well. I have been given a heart that although stressed and panicked about table arrangements, has the ability to ask the question, “Who are you doing this for?” When people text me, I have the option not to get frustrated, but to remember that they are coming to this wedding because they love and care for Meredith and me.

As you approach stressful events in life, consider how to finish well. Examine yourself, and ask the question, “How can I be selfless in this?” instead of being overcome by selfishness. It will be difficult, and it will be uncomfortable at times, but ultimately it will be worth it.

James Harris

James is probably the 3rd or 4th funniest guy you know. Funny enough to invite to a party; not witty enough to talk about later. Co-Founder and Content Editor of Everyday Exiles, Director of College Ministry at Reynolda Church, EPC, and husband to Meredith. He has a dog named Calvin, a cat named Opie, and a robot vacuum named Alfred.

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