Are you making preparation for the upcoming holidays? It seems that hardly before the light in the jack-o-lanterns extinguished and All Saint’s Day arrived, people were talking about making preparation for the holidays. But they weren’t really talking about this month’s major holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving. No, they were talking about what preparation they needed for…you guessed it, Christmas! This week, my Facebook feed filled with news of decorating and gift buying for Christmas. My “friends” and a lot of advertisements discussed putting up Christmas trees, lights, and the whole gamut. It seems that as people have spent a lot more time at home, they are looking for ways to brighten up this “crazy” year. Now before the “Grinches” and “Scrooges,” that are flipping out about Christmas before Thanksgiving, tune me out. Let us give some thought that perhaps consistent and early preparation isn’t such a bad thing.
“Preparation is everything,” says David Robinson, a former basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs. As anyone who has participated in sports of any kind or anything in life that one wants to excel in knows, it is only through preparation that success is found. Most of us will not be able to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on the piano, paint a successful portrait, or successfully master any skill in life unless we consistently prepare for it. Making preparation isn’t just for specific skills that we want to succeed in either. Preparation is necessary and needed in all aspects of life.
Foresight is Always Better than Hindsight
Have you ever taken a trip? Even an overnight to grandmother’s takes preparation. You need to think about the weather. Will it be hot or cold? Do you need a coat, jacket, or sweater? Perhaps Grandmother lives on the water where it is warm. Maybe you need a swimsuit. You know you need pajamas, a toothbrush, hairbrush, and clothing for the next day. The list goes on and on as there really is a lot to think about. Now imagine if you were going on a camping trip, now there is even more that must be planned, and preparations made. If you choose not to make these preparations, you often find yourself in regret during the hindsight of how you should have prepared. Therefore, it is important to plan and be ready for whatever might occur.
Making preparation is where we find this week’s focus verse as well, as we look to the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids. This parable teaches us that spiritual preparation can’t be bought or borrowed at the last minute. Each person must make their relationship with God their own as it can’t be shared, and it is not a group effort. We are each responsible for our own spiritual condition and we must use to the fullest of our ability whatever God has entrusted us with.
“So, you too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.Matthew 25:13 (NLT)
Shine the Light of Love! Make Preparation Today
Our lamp or light from our relationship with God is not just for illumination for it also represents our life of service and sacrifice. This is a life transformed by our faith in Christ that only comes from the grace of God. Therefore, the wise bridesmaids lived a life continually preparing for the Bridegroom. The foolish ones didn’t think it mattered until it was too late. And as much as the wise bridesmaids wanted to help the foolish ones they couldn’t. It wasn’t because they were selfish, it was because their preparation came from love and you can’t share or borrow acts of love.
Each of us must create individual acts of love. We must participate according to the grace that is given to us as we use the gifts received or granted to us by God. By shining our light every day through acts of love to others we demonstrate a “yes” life to God. This is the preparation that we can show now and the preparation that will pay off when the “time comes.” For like the foolish bridesmaids, there will be no borrowing or lending in the end. It is a life of service and sacrifice of love in the here and now that is our preparation.
Won’t you accept the challenge to make your light shine brightly in love to others in both service and sacrifice to God making preparation today? Root your convictions in the grace and love of God knowing that you will receive your just reward. Seek your motivation from the knowledge that today is not too late, but tomorrow might be. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing God’s full love for you giving you both hope and a future.
Love in Christ,
Preparation time is never wasted time.Anonymous
What are your thoughts?
Are you making preparation today for Christ’s return? Share your thoughts on the importance of making preparation through the service and sacrifice of love today, for the rest of your tomorrows?