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I’m not ready!

November 28, 2015

I hate preparations. I hate getting ready and packing for holidays and always drive my wife mad leaving it to the last minute. I give the impression of being disorganised but I don’t think that I am. I can see Viv shaking her head.

In my defence, I try to live in a way that makes me prepared. I don’t pack early because I already know that I have everything that I want to take and know that all I have to do is put my things in a case and do my best to force it shut. Also, I’ve usually been mentally preparing for a little while before. For example, clothes. I know in my mind what I would like to take and in the week before I’ve been avoiding wearing those things or have made sure that they’ve gone into the wash. This doesn’t always work. Sometimes the t-shirt I really want isn’t clean but so far it hasn’t really mattered that much (so far!). To be fair Viv prepares in advance too but we just approach the whole thing from a different angle.

The way I see it, I leave things to the last minute only when I know that the big important preparations are all done.

When I have applied for a job, I certainly didn’t leave things too late. I read through all of the paperwork carefully and tried to identify exactly what was being asked. I then had a better idea if the job was for me. Then I prepared my answers specifically for that place and explicitly to answer every question or expectation set out in the paperwork. All of this takes time and effort, but I figure that if I can’t be bothered to do the preparation then I don’t really want the job.

Now preparation is a real advent theme and advent begins tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be celebrating the hope of Jesus return as lord and judge. With that hope comes a clear warning – Will you be ready (see Luke 21.25-36)?

Will I be prepared? Well the simple answer is NO; at least not completely. There is no chance of me being perfect any time soon, but I still make sure that I’m as prepared as I can be. This is an ‘interview’ that I really want to get right so I prepare myself. I go through the routine I do for a job interview.

First, I carefully read the paperwork! I read my Bible and read that Jesus will come as judge. I read that this will be frightening to many and confusing. I also read that Jesus will return completely unexpectedly. So what can I do? I can’t swat up for a particular day. Jesus would see straight through me anyway and ask me about last week or last year! So there is nothing special I can do, except try to let the Spirit make me into a good Christian every day. I need to make sure that I am as like Jesus as possible so that I don’t need to run around panicking when it’s already too late.

So preparing for Jesus’ return means getting on and living my life for him, day by day – no short-cuts or exceptions. So back to that paperwork again; back to the Bible. In the Bible I find Paul giving good advice on how to get ready. I read Paul praying:

May the Lord make your love for each other and for everyone else grow by leaps and bounds. That’s how our love for you has grown. And when our Lord comes with all of his people, I pray that he will make your hearts pure and innocent in the sight of God the Father. (1 Thessalonians 3.12-13 CEV)

So I need to pray, and I need to ask others to pray for me too. Then I need to pray for others so that they can be ready too. And what do I pray for? To be ready of course… – but what does that mean day by day? I look back at Paul’s advice and find that I am to pray that God will help my love to grow in leaps and bounds, love for those that I meet, in church and out of it.

Wow! The light has just come on. All this preparation is God working in me. I can’t get ready. Only the Spirit can make me ready by giving me more and more godlike love. I need to let the Spirit work in me to make me pure and innocent and full of love. So like Paul I pray:

Father, I’m not perfect – something I’m sure you know only too well. I can never get myself ready for Jesus coming back, I’m barely ready for the things that this world throws at me each day! I pray Father that you continue to pour out your Spirit into me so that I can be more pure and innocent. Father, help me to love as Jesus loved – Oh, and please don’t let me know or I’ll just get big headed and ruin the whole thing! Amen.

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One Comment
  1. *shakes head*

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