1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
As I sat outside this morning, basking in the warm sunlight, talking to God, the squirrels began a game of tag up and down the pecan tree. First there were two, then three, then suddenly there squirrels were everywhere, chattering, wrestling, flinging themselves from limb to limb. Their shrieks and squeals reminded me of young children at play.
I slowly raised my camera to try to capture their fun. Focusing in on a trio, I pushed the button on the camera. Click. The screen went black. Great! What a time for a dead battery. I slid my extra battery out of its case, all the while keeping an eye on the squirrels who were oblivious to me. Again I raised my camera and snapped the shutter. Click. What? It slowly dawned on me that I had not put the batteries on the charger when we had returned from our camping trip.
It came to mind that I had asked God earlier what I should write about today. While it seems a little extreme to not let me take a few pictures, I did get His point. I should have been better prepared.
In my life, I am often unprepared. It is not that I don’t know what I need before things happen. When I go to church I need my notebook, my Bible, and my pen. When I go to the grocery store, I need my purse and my shopping list. When I go to school, I need my books and my lessons plans. Yet how many times do I arrive at a destination without the things I need? For lack of a few minutes of preparation, an entire day can fall apart.
Later, as I sat at my desk, I noticed a list beside the computer. Sheepishly I read over the numbered items, discovering the words “don’t forget to charge camera batteries” written at the bottom of the page. I thought about how often I have the best of intentions on getting things done. My desk is covered in sticky notes to remind me to read my lists. I have white boards in every room in an effort to keep up with my lists. I have even resorted to writing notes on my mirror in the hope that, as I am brushing my teeth, I will be reminded to send a birthday card or buy milk.
How often do we make lists, either written or in our head, about all the things we are going to do for Christ just as soon as we get this done or that done? How often do we start another Bible study in the hopes that we can finally read through the New Testament? How often do we say that next week we will start paying tithing, just as soon as we get that darn cable bill paid? How often do we promise that if we can just get through this rough time, we will start praying regularly? How many times do we promise that next time we will be more prepared?
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 reminds me to be prepared at all times, not only for the Second Coming of Christ, but for everything that the Lord would have me do. I need to start each day with prayer, asking Him for guidance before I make one single decision. Even if it is just one verse out of the Scriptures, I need to go to His word at least once during my day. If I have time to drink a cup of coffee, I have time. If I have time to watch American Idol, I have time. If I have time to take the dog outside, I have time. If I have a CD player in my car, I have time.
Dearest Father God, thank You for reminding me to be prepared. Thank You for showing me leaving out the simplest things can mess up all the plans I have made. Thank You for guiding me to scriptures that help me to learn to be prepared for everything You would have me do. You are always so merciful to me, Your forgetful daughter. I ask for grace once again as I get up from my knees. May this day be everything You would have it to be. Let me search for Your desires in everything I do. Let me be prepared to tell everyone I meet why You are the one who guides my life, my actions, my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Brother, Amen