Tag Archives: prepared

Be Prepared

Are you the king of person who is prepared for every eventuality, or lives responding to life as it happens?    I find myself swinging much more from the former to the latter these day, whether that’s circumstance, experience or age I’m not sure. There are merits in both flexibility and being ready – until you get caught out!

Matthew 25:1-13 (CEV)

A Story about Ten Girls

25 The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps.

The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, “Here’s the groom! Come to meet him!”

When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”

The girls who were wise answered, “There’s not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.”

10 While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11 Later the other girls returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!”

12 But the groom replied, “I don’t even know you!”

13 So, my disciples, always be ready! You don’t know the day or the time when all this will happen.

There we were.  Waiting for him to come.  The bridegroom.  Nothing could happen until he came.

It was a long wait I can tell you.  Don’t know what had held him up, but we were there, ready with our lamps to light his way, his arrival.  I’d taken extra fuel for my lamp.  I like to be prepared, ready for anything and everything.  These things often take longer than you think.  Four of the others had done the same – it takes a lot of light!  You need to be ready with an ongoing source.  Some of the others weren’t ready for such a long haul.  They had just the oil that had come in their lamps.

So they had to go and find some more.  Who knows where they were going to find it at that time of night.  Anywhere they could I suppose.  But they weren’t going to last the wait without an extra supply.  The awkward bit is that whilst they were gone, the groom came.  Their moment of waiting was over and they missed it.  They were needed with their light, and they weren’t there.  We had to go with him.  This is what we’d been waiting for, the whole reason for the vigil.  To have waited for the others would have been to let the groom down – he already only had half the light he should.

When the others came back they were too late.  Their not having enough oil to last had cost them their entry.

The Scouts aren’t wrong with their motto.

Lord,
you ask me to be ready,
prepared for when you need me,
ready for when you come.

May my resources not run low,
may I keep supplies topped up,
may I remain in you,
my strength,
my light,
my power.

And when you come
may I be ready
and not caught napping.

Sign of the Times

We’re impatient.  We want to know when something is going to happen.  We want to plan and prepare.

Jesus’ disciples want to know when the destruction that Jesus has spoken about will happen.

Mark 13:1-8

The Temple Will Be Destroyed

13 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look at these beautiful stones and wonderful buildings!”

Jesus replied, “Do you see these huge buildings? They will certainly be torn down! Not one stone will be left in place.”

Warning about Trouble

Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. They asked, “When will these things happen? What will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

Jesus answered:

Watch out and don’t let anyone fool you! Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people.

When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.

They need to know.  What are they to look out for?  How will they know it is happening?

There are always those who will tell us that, “The end of the world is nigh”.  People who look at what is happening around and say surely this must be the time.  But Jesus quite clearly tells his disciples that it is not that easy to tell.  We will not know when the end is coming – and we mustn’t let anyone fool us into thinking that they do know.

What is important is to make sure that we are ready.  Not to spend out time speculating on whether this is it or not, but to make sure we are ready today.  We never know what is going to happen in our lives any day, we do not know when our personal last day might be.

  • Are you ready to meet God?
  • What might you need to do to be ready?

Oh Lord,

you know that I like to know,

I want details,

specifics.

Help me to trust you

with the bigger picture;

but also to be ready

for what you are going to do

in me today.