A young woman walked into a church on a Sunday morning. The sanctuary, which was a modest size for a place of worship, was empty except for the older man who was sitting quietly in the first row. She slowly made her way down the aisle to greet him.
“Excuse me sir,” she politely said.
He looked up and smiled. “Why hello there!”
“I’m sorry, but is this church still open?”
“Yes it is,” he replied, as he motioned his hands towards the space next to him. “Please, have a seat.”
She sat down. There were a few seconds of silence as she looked around. She then asked, “I’m sorry to ask so many questions, but where is everyone sir?”
“Ah, they’ve all moved on a while back.”
“But now I have a question for you. What brings you here this morning?”
She chuckled. “I was hoping to meet someone.”
“Meet someone, eh? And who might this be?”
The man raised his eyebrows. “And what makes you think he’ll appear here of all places?”
“I don’t know, but I wrote him an invite to meet me here. Wishful thinking I suppose.”
“Funny you mention him, because I once knew a group who wanted to meet him very badly,” the man reminisced. “So badly they met together in one of their homes, tiding it up to the best of their ability, hoping that he would someday be their guest of honor. However, they were utterly convinced he would never appear at such a modest place. And so they held off their invitation.
“And instead, they pooled their money and purchased a building. And they gathered every Sunday, but they did not believe he would come for such few people. And so they spread the word to their friends and family.”
“And did others come?”
“Oh yes, many others. But they did not feel their guest of honor would be entertained. So they hired a leader who would give inspirational messages, a man of great talent and charisma. They thought, surely a man who could make the masses laugh, cheer, cry and smile could do the same for their guest. And their leader knew quite a bit about him, even wrote and published books.”
“That would’ve been a great opportunity for the group to invite him then!” she exclaimed. “Especially if their leader knew him.”
The man shook his head. “I said he knew quite a bit about him, I did not say he knew him.”
“Oh,” she said, and then giggled.
He continued, “And so many, many more flooded into that building week after week, but they still believed they were not yet ready to invite their guest. They needed more attraction. And so they purchased a larger building, this time a hundred times the size.”
“But they didn’t feel it was enough?
He chuckled. “But they didn’t feel it was enough. And so they hired musicians, the best musicians, put them on the stage, and surrounded them with lights and all kinds of fancy devices. The music was breathtaking. Tens of thousands would attend. Then came the social media platforms, websites, internet advertising, high quality videos, pictures, and music albums. They multiplied sites, dozens of locations, and now, the whole world knew about them.”
The woman frowned. “Let me guess, even after all that, it wasn’t enough?”
He shook his head.
“What might be so funny?”
“We’re sitting in that first building, aren’t we?”
She looked around. “So this is all it took?”
“No,” he answered.
He smiled and replied, “Only an invite. That is all.”