Are you ready?
In 2012, I lost my Dad to Lewy Body Dementia… a terrible neurological disease that disrupts normal brain and body function. Today, 3 1/2 years later, I still miss my Dad very much… I still haven’t fully recovered from that loss. However, one of the rays of hope I hold onto is that one day, I’ll be able to see my Lord and Savior, first and foremost, but also see my Dad again, who, at 82, became a believer! I want to see my Lord, and I want to see my Dad again… I don’t want to anything that will interfere with that from happening. So… what do I do? As a believer, I know what Jesus offers the believer, but how long will I have to wait? Will it be much longer?
Why do I share this story with you? Because it was one of many stories that came to mind as I read through Matthew 24 in today’s readings. Hearing in Matthew 24, especially Matthew 24:44, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of man will come when least expected”, what is my final destiny when Jesus comes again! Jesus asks but one thing of His children… to believe! But belief is made manifest in a variety of ways… all of which will have observers saying that there’s something different about the believer.
One of the most interesting questions raised in Christian circles is that of Jesus’ return… more specifically, when He will return? It really is a great question… one that begs the follow-up question… He is coming back, but should it matter when He’s coming back? I mean, after all, shouldn’t we be living a life that is preparing us for when that day comes? It is frustrating to wonder why God left the month, day, year, and time a mystery… or perhaps, it was intentional, so that our Father could use our actions as a test of faith? Doesn’t God know that that we’re a group that depends on data… of instant responses and replies? That our lives depend on the answer to the question of when will Jesus return? Or should it?
C. S. Lewis shared “Precisely because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments.” I believe that Lewis is onto something very deep… it feels like a mindset that we can apply to many areas of our lives. To not simply do something for the sake of checking off a checklist, but a lifestyle where we are proactive and conduct ourselves in a way that is honoring and demonstrates dedication and resolve.
Let’s explore one option… that God did reveal his time frame for sending His Son back for His followers. Let’s imagine we have seven years left on Earth… or seventy, or seven hundred. What would we do differently if we knew? Would we live each moment with a greater sense of urgency? Would we resist a familiar temptation one more time because we can see the finish line in sight and would soon be face-to-face with our Lord and Savior? Would we look for opportunities to share the news of Jesus’ imminent return so others could prepare, as well, because we wouldn’t want anyone to miss eternity with the Lord?
Perhaps it is too bad that we don’t know when Jesus is coming… we might just live a bit differently if we only knew…
Dear Heavenly Father… I’m believing more and more that You didn’t reveal the details of Your Son’s return so that we would preoccupy ourselves with living each day to the fullest instead of wasting precious hours wondering when to start getting ready. Father, I ask that You help me live today as if Your Son is coming today, since He just might! And when that day comes… I can only imagine!