About a week before Irma was expected to hit the Florida Keys my husband and I were driving back from dinner and decided to stop to fill the almost empty gas tank. The first station we passed by as it was already full, with lines beginning to form. “Everybody must have had the same idea” my husband remarked as we drove on to another, larger station, once again finding every pump occupied (except one). After filling the tank, our next stop was the grocery store. As we started to pick up the items on our list, we noted how many people were in the store, but still did not realize what was going on until we arrived at the aisle where they sell water. Well, if I were to be accurate, I would say it is where they normally stored the water they sell. This evening the shelves were bare. Finally, the light bulb went on and we realized that people were afraid that Irma was going to make it all the way up to Charlotte, North Carolina, and people were rushing around trying to get prepared.
Over the next few days, as I mused over the different reactions people were having, some scoffing and some panicking, I became aware of the differences between preparing for an earthquake and preparing for a hurricane. When the Northridge earthquake hit, a few short miles from where were living, we were not prepared. Fortunately (i.e. due to God’s providential care), we were living on top of a hill of bedrock and the quake went through our house at an angle, leaving us with only minor damage and days (as compared to weeks) without water or power. Some of our friends and neighbors did not fare as well. It took a long time for services and lives to get back on an even footing. After that experience, I went and purchased everything we would need to survive after a larger earthquake. What I learned through this was the benefit of perpetual preparedness.
Isn’t this what Jesus was trying to teach us in the parable of the ten virgins?
If we wait until we think we are about to leave this life and enter eternity to prepare for eternity, the store will be sold out or closed. None of us know when “the big one” is coming. What we can do is look around at what is happening and read “the signs of the times” and recognize that the end is growing closer, and we need to be prepared. How prepared are you to enter eternity? This is not a matter of being good enough or good works. Rather, it is a matter of the state of our relationship with our heavenly father.
Will you join me in asking God today what one thing each of us should either start or stop doing to prepare for eternity? It may be very simple, or it could be very difficult. It could be developing a habit of spending time with God each day, it could be to stop working so hard and just rest in Him, it could be to go out and have fun and fellowship. Whatever it is, my experience with earthquakes teaches me that it is worth the effort to prepare.