Views From the Back Pew
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Being prepared is something that my granddad always believed. I remember anytime that I would go with him on a trip, he seemed to pack the car with half the tools from his toolbox. He was a farmer but had been a mechanic during World War II, so it seemed as if he were always preparing for something major to break during our trips. Granddad would change the oil in the car, go buy two extra fan belts to take with us and anything else that he might think of to take along. He took pride in the fact that he had never been stuck along the side of the road and had to call someone for help. Being prepared was just who he was. When we went to the hayfield, we took a large metal box full of extra parts and anything that you might need just so you wouldn’t have to stop cutting hay and head to town. He would say, “You have to be prepared because you never know what’s coming down the tracks at you.” That’s so true; we don’t know what’s coming down the tracks at us. We don’t know what problems we’ll face, and we don’t know when our time on this earth might be done.
That’s the idea that Jesus alludes to with His parable of the ten virgins that we read in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus tells about five virgins who were wise and prepared for the bridegroom, but He also explains about five who were foolish and weren’t prepared. After a long wait, the bridegroom finally came, catching the five unprepared. In verse 12 we see His response to those who were not ready for His return; “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ And then in verse 13 Jesus gives a warning: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” The world has been trying to predict the return of Jesus for years. There are those who worry about it and look for signs that point to His return. But, Jesus says in Matthew 24:36, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, f but only the Father.” I’ve been asked before if I worry much about when Jesus will return, and my response is always the same. I don’t worry at all about when it will happen; I know Jesus will come again. My job is to put my grandad’s philosophy into practice and be prepared for that time. We don’t want to be caught like those five virgins who weren’t ready when the bridegroom came.
When my granddad pulled that big ol’ 1976 Chevrolet Impala out of the drive and headed out on a trip, you can be certain that he was ready for anything short of a transmission swap. No matter when Jesus returns, we should try and be completely prepared for that time. Prepare our souls, prepare our lives so that there is no doubt that we’re ready. How do we prepare? Peter says in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So, today I want you to ask yourselves, are you prepared? If not, I encourage you to get ready; become prepared. I pray that everyone has a wonderful week. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Bryan Tucker, Minister
Okemah Church of Christ