Always Be Ready

“. . . always be ready . . .”
“So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.” (Matthew 24:44)
Okay, I admit it.  I wasn’t ready.  As I pulled my hat down tighter on my head Tuesday morning and zipped my fleece tighter against my neck I mumbled to myself, “I wasn’t ready for this!”  Just the day before I’d been sweating profusely as I dragged big tarps full of leaves down the hill to dump them in the woods behind our house, then trudged back up the hill (many, many times) for another load.  I wasn’t ready for the biting cold and swirling snow.  I wasn’t ready for the almost instant transformation of brilliant fall colors into the black-and-white of winter.  (It dawned on me as I started to write this that the photo of my snow-covered buoy bell on our back porch is really a color photo, but looks black-and-white.)
Being ready is not always easy.  Sometimes we’re able to train for the possible so that when it happens our training takes over and gets us through.  Hopefully that works for folks like airline pilots who spend hours and hours in simulators so they can react constructively in unexpected situations and still safely land their airplanes.    Sometimes we can ready ourselves for events we know are coming yet still find ourselves feeling surprised by the depth of emotions that confront us when the anticipated event arrives.  Death has a way of doing that to us.  We think we’re ready, but when it happens the hurt still can feel very harsh and deep.  Yet, even in those situations we could wonder what might have happened if we hadn’t worked to get ready.  Had we not readied ourselves the hurt might have been not just harsh and deep, but even overwhelming and despairing.
In Matthew Jesus was exhorting his disciples to, “always be ready,” for the most important event in their lives – his return.  Life is full of the expected and unexpected.  It seems that the best way to face either or both is to be ready.  Suddenly as I think about it things don’t seem that complicated.  Maybe the best way to be ready for the expected and unexpected in all our relationships is to prepare in the same way we should prepare for the most important event in our lives – the return of Jesus.  So, it seems to me, the best way to be ready for whatever may come — is to practice loving like Jesus to the best of our abilities and ask for God’s forgiving grace when we fail.  That’s the best way I know to be ready for . . .  I pray that God will help me be ready.  How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit
My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on November 13, 2013.

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