I am writing this from my seat on the flight to Alberta. This is the first family vacation that we have had where we have actually flown somewhere. My husband and children are flying for the first time and I haven’t flown in years. The first issue with going on this type of vacation is the preparation! Wow! Weeks and weeks of preparation. Lists to check, projects to finish, money to pay. There is so much to do! I had to look up the rules for the plane and make sure I was following them, ensure I had somebody to watch the house and the dog, apply for vacation from work, make sure I had packed everything that I am going to need while I am away.
Once I could do no more and sat down to just wait until it was time to go, I began to reflect on all the effort I had put into preparing. I was preparing for a vacation. I wondered what I was doing to prepare for Jesus’ return. Are there not things to be doing to prepare? Isn’t He more important than my vacation? Shouldn’t I be making sure that I am following His rules and packing my life with the things that He requires? Or has it been so long since He left that I have lost my sense of anticipation? Do I even believe He is coming back?
Hebrews 11: 13-16 reads: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Is it possible that we have lost sight of the promise? That our eyes and hearts have returned to the country we have left?
Noah waited over 100 years for the rain to fall. Moses 40 years to reach the Promised Land, and the people of God waited 400 years for the prophesies of Jesus birth to be fulfilled. Did the wait mean the promise was void? No. God’s timing is perfect. But in the 2000 years that we have been waiting for His return, have we become like the foolish virgins – unprepared? When He does come will we be ready? All of those people listed in Hebrews chapter 11 were considered righteous because they obeyed God. What do I need to do to ensure that I obey God? Do I even know what He is asking of me? Do I revere Him enough to seek His face and His will? Or is my heart content to have the time pass by and my soul fall asleep?
The only way to know what He is asking of me is to listen. The only way to listen is to give my heart and soul opportunity to hear. I need to pull away from all of the distractions and purposefully seek Him. I need to pray. To listen. To wait for direction. To act on it when I get it. For me, finding time to spend in these endeavors in my regular day is almost impossible. This kind of time does not simply “appear.” I need to make it happen. I need to steal away from the world and focus on Him. This requires a concerted effort. Perhaps it is time to return to the old disciplines of fasting, prayer and Bible memorization. I need to fill my lamp with oil and renew my anticipation of His return. Perhaps it will be today. Will I be ready? Will He say that He knows me and welcome me home?