Time marches onward and waits for no-one, and yet we get caught off-guard, and may not be ready for what may happen next. Have you ever been “caught with your pants down” unprepared for what you know is going to happen? I have, and it wasn’t any fun.
Jesus told a parable about being ready, about being prepared, so we will look at that in a few moments. In the meantime, I am going to tell you about my own preparedness, or lack thereof.
Many moons ago, when I was in fourth-grade, I was in Cub Scouts for a while, and even though I have forgotten most of what I learned back them, I still remember the Scout Motto, “Be Prepared“. Through the years, I have tried to “Be Prepared“, at least in some ways. I took Red Cross Advanced First Aid and CPR back in 1976-1977, and because Ambulances were few and far between, and EMT’s were rarer than hen’s teeth, I put a “jump-kit” together and started carrying it in my vehicle. I have had a “jump-kit” in my vehicle ever-since. Even though I haven’t had to use it – so far, it is still there, and still well-stocked. Because I am a retired Volunteer-Firefighter and First Responder, I also have a “duty to act“. Thankfully, Emergency Medicine has come a very long way in the last forty-years so a Rescue-Squad with an Ambulance is rarely more than ten-minutes away.
I haven’t always been quite as well-prepared in another critical-area, and it has bitten me – hard – a few times. I am catheter-dependent, so I have to have “supplies” with me at all times, BUT, I have been caught without “supplies” a few times, and it wasn’t any fun. When I need to “go“, I NEED to “go” – NOW. I can get very-uncomfortable very-quickly! Now, I carry a “go-kit” in my vehicle at all times, and replenish it as-needed. What if I am NOT near my vehicle? Yes, I have been caught out without “supplies” while riding in someone else’s vehicle because I had forgotten to grab my “go-kit” before we left the house. That wasn’t very pleasant….
As important as it is for me to “be prepared” in the here-and-now, Jesus calls us to “be prepared” for a far more important appointment that we all will face some day, when we will meet our Maker. Will we meet Him in peace, or will we dread that meeting?
Parable of Ten Virgins
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13)
Are YOU ready?
How many people have you known who had been “healthy-as-a-horse” when they dropped dead of a heart attack? How many people die in motor-vehicle accidents every year? They certainly didn’t leave home expecting to never return. Are you one of the “wise-virgins“, or are you one of the “foolish-virgins“? We DON’T know when that moment will be.
If you don’t want to hear “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.”, now is the time to make your peace with God. Heed Jesus’ closing admonition before it is too late.
Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.