I find it wholly frustrating when I prepare for a guitar lesson and discover my student hasn’t put their hand to the fret board all week long. The difference between a prepared and unprepared student is like a baked cake and a bowl of batter — it’s the same medium, but a completely different structure and shape, and one is considerably tastier.
Likewise, it’s not much fun to be unprepared yourself. Remember that wave of nausea you got in school when you forgot to do your homework, and you’re sitting there, butt sweating in your seat, hoping the teacher has also somehow forgotten the assignment she assigned? And then there was that annoying smart kid that would raise his hand five minutes before the end of class and say, “Are you collecting the homework?” and everyone subsequently groans/agonizes/whispers death threats.
Well, I’m the annoying smart kid.
A lot of Christians are sitting around, waiting for something to happen. A lot of non-Christians are kinda doing the same thing. And yeah, something IS going to happen.
It’s on the syllabus. Didn’t you get the assignment?
Jesus makes reference to a fig tree indicating the beginning of summer, when all the leaves start popping out — to an Israelite, this is obvious. I’m sure you’re able to notice seasons by observing trees too. For example, I know it’s almost winter time when the tree right outside my apartment starts dropping loads of friggen berries all over the ground.
Are you paying attention? Jesus says it will all end, and it’ll come without warning. Obviously, no one knows the precise day, no matter how many predictions people make, but the end is inevitable.
1) Check the signs. Don’t get obsessed with “the end,” but it’s important to be aware. Jesus is just asking us to pay attention to our surroundings. Depending on where you stand, it could generate feelings of intense joy or fear.
2) Stay on guard. Keep your nose in Scripture. Stay sharp. And defend yourself — people would love to see that you’re wrong. Not everyone, of course.
3) Keep going. The inevitable mistake we can all make is not being busy about the Lord’s work when it’s all over. My football coaches always told me to “play through the whistle,” meaning the play isn’t over until the referee says so. When the Ref blows the whistle, I want to still be running.
4) Check the syllabus. The Bible is clear that we need to be ready at all times. Are you?
What are some ways we can be more prepared?
I couldn’t stop thinking about this as I finished up: