The crowd cheered the groom as he stepped on the platform to collect the microphone to sing. With every sound that rolled out of the speakers, the guests, most of whom had gulped more than just a glass of wine, screamed in excitement while pumping their fists in the air. They were probably that electrified because he was doing a spoof of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” song. Or maybe it was because his singing was just a little better than a frog’s croak.

The wedding was over and everyone returned home; everyone but Rufus. He was still stupefied by the rich display of colours that brought life to the decorations. The food was like nothing he had ever seen before. This couple and their animated guests were definitely not from around here. The location was perfect, he thought; a quiet garden that had a beautiful view of the Simue River. He felt so privileged that he had seen this with his own eyes — even though he had to watch the whole thing from behind the bushes. For this day would inspire the next chapter of his life.

This was Simue, a small tribe in Western Africa who were satisfied with the ordinary life. Each home owned a farm where they would plant different kinds of crops. If they ever needed any other type of food for their meals, there was always someone ready to do a barter trade. Now here was Rufus going against the grain. He dared to do what nobody in Simue had ever done before — dream. His little garden experience had set his soul ablaze. He had just one goal in life now and he would stop at nothing until it came to fruition. HE HAD SWORN BY THE GODS OF THE LAND TO HAVE THE MOST EXPENSIVE WEDDING THIS WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

Even though Rufus was only 13 years old, he was already working more jobs than anyone in the village. He offered to work on people’s farms, he cooked for some, he even offered to babysit on days when he had less work to do. Everyone thought he was crazy. They were half-right. To be as committed as Rufus was to his dream, you had to be crazy.

As he kept receiving payment for his work in form of crops, Rufus gradually became well-known as the wealthiest person in Simue; and he was only 19years old. He now had big farmlands where he cultivated every kind of crop found in Simue. He expanded to the neighbouring villages, then to countries, where he got not only crops for his work, but also silver, gold and diamond.

At 31, Rufus was arguably the wealthiest man alive. Now was the perfect time to execute his plan. He searched for the most expensive location in the world where he could do his wedding. He needed to get the most expensive food and drinks too. For the bride, it had to be the most beautiful lady he could find. His wedding planner estimated an expenditure of 850,000kg of pure gold. Rufus was glad that his dream finally had a price-tag. What made him happier was that he could afford it.

The big day finally came. Every News agency wanted to cover the event. Rufus had to buy an island and prepare it solely for the wedding. It cost him almost everything he had but to him, it was well worth it. The wedding was glorious. He invited everyone to attend because he wanted all to witness the fulfillment of his vow firsthand. The guests were so many that some had to remain in the ships and boats in which they arrived. But he had a problem. He was out of food at the reception. He spent the rest of his money buying more food and even had to borrow some gold from some of his friends to make sure everyone was satisfied with the experience. Then it all ended and everyone returned home exceedingly happy.

The next day, Rufus woke up to a shocker. He couldn’t afford breakfast and he was deeply in debt. He had closed down all his businesses to ensure that he had the perfect wedding, and he did. He had spent most of his life preparing for his wedding but he never imagined how life would be when it was all over.

For us, it may not be a wedding day. An academic qualification maybe? Or that perfect job, a mansion in the Bahamas, fancy race cars parked in your garage? Or maybe we just want lots and lots of money for no reason? The good news is that you can get it. The bad news is… you can get it. At the end of the road of our life, it would be too painful to realize that we let all that time go into planning for just a day’s event when we could have made long-term plans. Besides, a thousand years is just like a day with God. No matter how long we live on earth, afterlife is way longer. Wedding plans are good, but the marriage is more important… the Church marries Jesus!