My mind naturally gravitates toward what’s coming and being prepared for it. In fact, I struggle turning my thoughts away from planning, and it actually keeps me awake at night sometimes. The feeling of going through an event and looking back at it with the satisfaction of having been adequately prepared motivates me to make it happen over and over again.
As good as I am at planning ahead, there’s no way I can be prepared for everything. I just can’t know all that’s coming my way, nor can I think of and plan for every contingency. However, even when an event doesn’t go exactly as planned, being prepared allows me to handle the unexpected with a lot more poise than I would have otherwise.
Like you, I’ve been blindsided many times by events I failed to anticipate or even think possible. People do unexpected things, after all. They mislead and manipulate, too. Not everyone thinks the same way, and we all have different ways of planning and even of what we think being prepared means. Many people even like to be spontaneous and not plan much, if at all. All these factors guarantee the unexpected will happen at some point.
Even the spontaneous among us realize the wisdom in preparing at least part of the time. I’ve also noticed many spontaneous people like the planning that those of us who like to be prepared do. At least, that’s how it works in my family. When I don’t prepare as much as usual, they wonder what’s wrong and even seem disappointed.
What We Know
While we can’t know and plan for everything, we do need to recognize — and be thankful for — the fact that there’s a lot we know about ahead of time. The details may be unclear, but some events are sure and seem to scream at us to plan for their inevitability.
For example, we know the grass will grow. We know we need to eat and get more food. We know we need to sleep. We know exercise is important. We know we’re aging. We know our kids will grow up. We know time is passing. With the seasons of life, we know change comes in both expected and unexpected ways. If we’re honest, we know there’s a lot we can do to get ready for what’s coming in our lives.
Luke 5 gets at this idea of being prepared, and it focuses on the single greatest event yet to happen. We’re told in verses 35-48 that we can get ready to be ready for “the Master” (i.e., Jesus) to return. We don’t know when this will happen, but we do know it will happen (Matthew 25). In fact, all of Scripture — the entire Bible — serves to prepare us for Christ, and we’re very obviously supposed to prepare for Him.
Dressed In Readiness
How are we to get ready to be ready for Jesus’ return? How are we to be prepared for certain this future event?
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” (Luke 12:35-36)
Being dressed in readiness with lamps lit means doing what you know to do to continually be ready. It involves being able to say to always yourself, “I’m ready to meet Jesus.” This includes:
- Spending regular time in Scripture and in prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Being determined to know God better and better (Ephesians 1:15-18).
- Letting God renew your mind regularly (Romans 12:2).
- Letting your actions reflect that growth and renewal (Colossians 1:10).
Scripture is clear that we can be clear about what God wants us to do, that we can be continually dressed in readiness.
“So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.” (Colossians 1:9)
Get ready to be ready by refusing to be conveniently confused. Don’t put your Bible on a shelf and live as if you don’t know God has certain instructions for how you spend your days on this earth. Choosing to be ignorant will not work as an excuse when Jesus comes knocking. Decide to plan ahead and be prepared for the day you know is coming.