They are up late.
The countryside was dark hours ago, and the chores are complete. On any other night, they would have headed to bed shortly after sunset, but tonight is no average night.
The master is expected to return. He has sent word, and they will be ready for him.
This imagery is common to several portions of Jesus’ teachings. Luke 12:40 clarifies the point that lies just beyond the scene imagined above: “You must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
Any combination of “Son of Man” and “coming” quickly turn heads toward the end of time, the final coming.
And rightfully so.
However, it dawned on me recently that there is a message that resonates in another way as well.
Just as Christ’s final return is unknown, so too is every move of God.
- A season of stripping off layers.
- A time of trial.
- A green pasture of rest.
- A wilderness of discipline.
- An unimagined opportunity.
Such pages of life are not bookmarked in advance. They arrive unannounced, just like the master to his household. But when they do arrive, the readied heart can open the door to them, confident that the Creator comes with them, that He is eager to dance the upcoming steps with us, to fill us with His life-giving rhythms to the extent that we take His hand and engage with His movements.
But one must be ready.
It is oh-so-easy to live with eyes blinded to anything beyond the immediate, failing to even consider where the Infinite One is seeking to infiltrate our grocery-getting, rugrat-raising, marriage-managing, schedule-surfing lives.
But that’s the importance of being ready.
To tie readiness to Christ’s final coming is to suggest that there is one day when being ill-prepared would be costly.
Truth be told, there is cost in every moment that we press forward with eyes closed and hearts hard to the Constant Companion.
Today as you lay your plans, top the list with this: Be Ready.
Be ready to listen up.
Be ready to speak up.
Be ready to step up.
Your day will not be a rat-race of randomness. Your Master has mixed up its ingredients, and He reveals His presence and plans on His own schedule.
So be ready.