It happened a few years ago. I don’t have all of the details, and perhaps this is a bit of an embellishment (whether it happened this way or not there’s a point here so stick with me) here goes…
A tornado plowed its way through a town and in the process completely destroyed houses in its wake. One of those houses belonged to a married couple who had spent the night out on the town on a romantic date. When they got home they went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night the tornado came through and the couple barely had enough time to take shelter in their bathtub in the hopes of survival. When they storm had passed the couple found that their house was completely destroyed, most of it scattered and carried away by the twister…including all of their clothes…they were buck naked and unprepared, but miraculously they survived!
Perhaps you were thinking I would write about this television show:
Not quite, but this television series is all about survival and preparation.
Speaking of preparation, Jesus had something to say about that topic: “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” -Revelation 16:15
I think these two words have a way of crossing many boundaries and topics. I think these two words speak to the very heart of the Church today as well. “Be Prepared“. Not in some “Doom and Gloom” sort of way; not in the street preacher with bull horn sort of way either. However, the Church, at times is anything but prepared.
I don’t want to be found buck naked and unprepared when I eventually meet my Savior. I don’t think anyone wants to be in that place, at that time with nothing but a look of surprise that turns into horror and shock.
Do you remember the parable Jesus told about the virgins? (Matthew 25:1-13)
Here it is in a nutshell to refresh your memory:
There were ten virgins who were heading out to wait for the bridegroom’s arrival.
Five of these virgins were wise while five were foolish. What made half of them wise and the other foolish you ask? The wise virgins (I know that kinda sounds funny) were prepared while they waited, apparently this could take a while – they had plenty of oil for their lamps. While the foolish virgins only grabbed what they could and forgot to bring extra oil (Don’t ask if it was extra-virgin olive oil…that’s a bad joke…I digress).
Anyway, back to the story, while they (the ten virgins)waited they fell asleep because the bridegroom took a while arriving. Finally he is seen in the distance and they scramble to ready themselves. The foolish virgins realize they are out of oil and their lamps have gone out, so they beg the wise virgins for some of their oil but they refuse. The foolish 5 head back into town to the local wal-mart to grab some more oil but while they are gone they miss the arrival of the bridegroom. They also miss the beginning of this late night party and are locked out.
Be prepared! Don’t be found Buck Naked and unprepared!
How can we (Christ-followers) be prepared?
Sometimes we are like those foolish virgins in Jesus’ story. We think that we have plenty of time for the matters of the heart. We think that we can get everything sorted out later when we have more time or when “the time is right”. So we put off the soul preparation. You know what I’m talking about. It is something we don’t often admit to anyone else. We kind of play around with this thing called faith but we never get too serious about it. We may dip our toe in it from time to time but we find it quite inconvenient to plunge in to its depths.
We arm ourselves with short, cute memory verses from the Bible but we don’t actually take the time to dig deeper into those truths. We know OF Jesus but if we are honest with ourselves there are times that we don’t truly know Him and we wouldn’t be caught dead taking Him home with us or out with our friends.
In essence, we’re completely exposed spiritually and we are unprepared.
This kind of fear of God that we’re talking about isn’t about quaking in our boots and digging holes in our backyards in the hopes to hide from Him either.
We should ready ourselves because we love Him. We should prepare ourselves because we desire this holy relationship with Him. We should be wise with how we use our time and the gifts that He has given to us.
-Just a thought!