In our “busy” lives it always pays to be prepared!


Jesus’ story in today’s parable of ten single ladies waiting for a wedding procession in the middle of the night seems strange to most westerners today. But Jesus’ audience knew all too well how easily this could happen to them. In the parable, Jesus intends to warn us that we must always be prepared and that there are consequences for being unprepared since certain things we cannot obtain at the last moment.

In our “busy” lives it always pays to be prepared! As important as this behavior is in our physical lives, it is also very important in our spiritual lives. If we needed water, batteries, or anything else for an emergency, would we wait until the “door” was closed? The answer could only be NO! Then why don’t we “be prepared” in our spiritual lives as the wise virgins were? This “oil” is not something they could have given to the foolish ones any more than we can be given preparedness without living in Christ.

 

Within the group of virgins mentioned in Jesus’ parable, there were two segments: those who were prepared for the future and those who were not. As with most life experiences, the women who had prepared were better off. This can be an application to all of our lives; on Judgment Day, there will only be these two kinds of people: those whose souls were ready, and those whose souls were in a state of sin. We know neither the day nor the hour of judgment. Therefore, it is necessary for us to keep our souls in a perpetual state of grace. Like many theories, this belief sounds reasonable, but is difficult in practice. Day after day, we are tempted by sin, wondering if it is worth it to hold out for this “eternal life” of which we are told. There are days where we think we know what will be best for us in the long run.

During our life on earth, we can prepare for hell by living a “hell on earth.” We simply live a lifestyle we know would be displeasing to Jesus. Alternatively, we can prepare for heaven by living a “heaven on earth,” that is, a life lived constantly in the presence of Jesus. Every breath we take, each step we make, every moment we act in constant awareness that the Master is present. We act differently because we know He is present. We long for His presence more than the deer longs for running waters.

There is still time to obtain “oil” for our lamps by living our lives in a Christ-like manner and storing up the good works that can only be performed by seeing, helping, and listening to Jesus in all the forms that He becomes to us, each and every day of our lives. It may not always be easy, but we must remember to stay awake and be ready. Those who fear the Lord will be rewarded at the city gate. Then and only then will we reach the “door” before it is closed.

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