My younger brother-in-law is one of the most “get it done in advance” type of guys I know. He usually starts asking me about gift idea suggestions for my children at least several months before Christmas or their birthdays. I am impressed by this level of preparation, but usually find it difficult to return the question. For I am on the other extreme end of “get things done just in time” type of girl.
Earlier this week our nation experienced the much anticipated total solar eclipse. For at least several months beforehand, there was continuous hyped buzz talk about the special glasses needed to protect our eyes from staring directly at the sun.
If bought at the correct time, these cardboard glasses were not expensive. For those that waited until the last minute to buy these special solar filters, they paid a hefty price to acquire this almost sold out item.
Thankfully I did not have to worry about that last minute spectacle frenzy because my “get it done in advance” brother-in-law had already purchased a pair of solar eclipse glasses for everyone in the family. They were handed over to my husband about two months ago. So in typical fashion, we did not even think much about those glasses again--until the day before the eclipse.
“Have you seen the glasses?” my husband asked. “What glasses?” I said in confusion. (I had not seen them yet because I was not there in the moment of the prepared pass off.)
So my husband and I searched all around the house. No glasses. We did not locate them until the following morning, just seven hours before the total eclipse was to occur. (In case you are wondering, they were in the glove box compartment of my car.) Talk about last minute concern for a once in a lifetime event!
This situation reminded me of the "Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids" found in Matthew 25.
All ten bridesmaids knew that the groom was approaching and that they needed to prepare for the big day. Five of them wisely filled their lamps with oil ahead of time, so that when the groom was ready, they would have light to see their way to the marriage feast.
The other five bridesmaids also knew that they needed oil, but did not prepare in advance. When it was time to join the wedding procession, the five who were unequipped tried to borrow oil from the other five who were well prepared. Sadly, sharing was not an option because there would not have been enough oil for all ten of them to make it to the party. Only the five who were prepared in advance joined the groom.
By the time the five "last minute ladies" had purchased their required oil, it was too late to join the feast. The door was shut and locked. Denied.
“Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ ” “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” (Matthew 25:11-13 NLT)
Isn’t it amazing that scientists could predict and prepare our nation for the solar eclipse? They let us know exactly where to look, at a specific time, in order to witness this once in a lifetime event. It's so precise!
This made me stop and think . . .
How is it that numerous people prepared way in advance with glasses for this week, yet so many people today are not prepared to view the return of someone much brighter--the Son of God. This too is a once in a lifetime event . . . only we do not get to know the day or hour that this is going to occur.
"Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 NLT)
People may have been able to purchase solar glasses at the eleventh hour for a premium price, or even lend a pair to a friend standing next to them in the moment. But the truth is, we can’t buy or borrow faith at the last minute. Each person is responsible for their own spiritual preparation and relationship with Jesus today.
I may not always plan in advance for this life, but through spiritual lenses, I am confidently ready for the next life.
Are you prepared for the party?
WARNING: Staring at the sun for too long can make you go blind.
DIRECTIONS: Looking towards THE SON and living by His Word will allow you to see with clear vision and experience eternal life.
"As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light." (Matthew 17:2 NLT)