Not really your fault: lessons from a wedding.

Sometimes, you actually do the best that you can and you still run out. You run out of time. You run out of energy. You run out of ideas. You run out of wine.

vowsThe last one is particularly bad when you have planned a wedding feast and all the guests are present. There’s a celebration of friends and family. A way to impress and thank and find relief from hard daily work. And in spite of your best efforts to get everything ready, everything right, you are out of anything but water to drink.

Every time I work with a couple to plan a wedding, I tell them that every wedding as an “oh no” and a “ahhh.” The latter comes when the preschool ring bearer successfully pulls the wagon with the toddler flower girl all the way around the sanctuary and up to the front. The “oh no” comes when the ring is left back at the hotel.

At this wedding in Cana, the “oh no” was summarized by a good friend of the family. “They have no wine,” Mary said to Jesus.

Again, sometimes the trouble you are in, the shortage that is endangering everything isn’t your fault, isn’t your weakness, isn’t because of sin or of your self-ascribed stupidity. Sometimes the wine runs out.

The story isn’t going to end there, of course. We know where the Jesus wedding wine story goes. But the non-fatal story that you are in the middle of right now is going to keep going, too. The embarrassment you are afraid of isn’t all there is.

Because you are no more alone than the father of the bride was at that moment. He probably though he was alone. But he didn’t know that Mary knew that her son had capacity no one had yet dreamed of.

He still has more capacity than you have dreamed of. Stop feeling stupid. Start looking around the room for the friend telling God about your problem. And be prepared to do what he says.