Be Chill; Be Ready

Good morning. It is Friday, the eighteenth of February, 2022, in the sixth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ reign in your life today!

Day 23,353

It’s 25 degrees out there, this morning, but clear and sunny, so there shouldn’t be any issues driving. I should probably check the car for frost, though, before it’s time to leave for work, in case I need to start the car early. That made me think to look at our security camera feeds, which told me that our sync module was offline. So I had to mess with that for a minute. I don’t know what was wrong, but I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and it’s online again. Then I remembered that it’s been a month since I got my new CPAP machine, so I need to switch out the data card for that and send the old one in to the monitoring company, so they can send the data to my doctor’s office.

So, now, it’s almost 8:00 AM, and I need to be ready to leave the house in forty-five minutes (give or take . . . that’s the time I shoot for).

I got some things accomplished in the study, yesterday. The files are caught up (mostly), and the non-essential files have been moved to the garage. I have a small file box to put books in, to take to Half-Price Books at a later date, and the floor is mostly clear, except for a few cables that need to be stored, and a small pile of books that remain from Christmas. I just need to put them away somewhere.

The genealogy class was quite informative, and I got some online resources that I can use. I’m not in a hurry to get deeply into that, but I am interested in it, so this information will be helpful. I might have been the youngest person in the room, outside of the assistant librarian who was hosting the session, who is a year younger than me.

Today, being Friday, I will spend most of my day in the Computer Center, with a probably couple hours roaming the shelves, putting things away. We might actually be able to have our pizza tonight.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Peace and Love, by Daryl Madden

Worries, worries, fear and sin
Help me Lord, come dwell within

Into, into My embrace
Come to find only grace

Fears, fears, drift away
My Beloved let us pray

Settle, settle, now the soul
Let My Spirit, take control

Go, go, let it go
Love complete, I bestow

Rest, rest, here profess
Peace to know, you’re fully blessed

Flow, flow, let it grow
Love and peace, here to know

What a blessing to simply sit and contemplate the Lord speaking these words to me! Please check out more of Daryl’s poetry at the link provided.

That poem goes very well with today’s Radio Free Babylon “Coffee with Jesus” cartoon.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the wonderful words of peace and life that Jesus speaks to me
2. for the creativity and inspiration of other people
3. for the steadfast love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who keeps us as the "apple of His eye"
4. for the promises of God, that He will never let me go
5. for the sweet love of my wife and family and friends

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
(Hebrews 13:1-3 ESV)

Wondrously show your steadfast love, 
O Savior of those who seek refuge 
from their adversaries at your right hand. 
Keep me as the apple of your eye; 
hide me in the shadow of your wings, 
(Psalms 17:7-8 ESV)

Today’s prayer word is “ready.” This, like many others, can mean a number of things. I’m not real good at being “ready” to go on time. Almost every time I’m supposed to be somewhere by a certain time, especially if it is in the morning, I’m practically running out the door. I’m using the word “running” very loosely, here. I don’t run. If you ever see me running, you should probably run, as well.

I don’t care to use the example in the book, today, for this word, as I feel that the father involved was a bit of a bully. But there is a sense in which we are all to be ready. At the beginning, English author Rose Tremain is quoted as saying, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” Actually, I’m not sure I agree 100% with that. I might agree to a degree, though.

Life is not “practice for heaven.” There is a difference between preparation and practice. This could get way more complicated than I want to be, this morning, so I think I’m going to abandon that thought track.

Jesus said these words:

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
(Luke 12:40 ESV)

That’s what I think when I see a prayer word like “ready.” I am preparing myself for an event; and event that I have no clue when it is coming, when it will happen. I will be clear about one thing. I do not believe in a “rapture.” I just don’t see it. I understand where people get it, and there are folks who are smarter than me who do believe in it, and there are folks who are smarter than me who don’t. Just don’t tell me that it is clearly in Scripture. If it were “clear,” there wouldn’t be as much debate about it, would there?

I do, however, believe in a second coming of Jesus Christ, and I believe that is what Dr. Luke is referring to in Luke 12:40. The context of Luke’s passage is similar to when Jesus told the parable about the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom to come for the wedding. Five of them were wise and ready; five of them weren’t. And once that bridegroom appears, it’s all over, time is up.

So we need to be ready. What does it mean to be ready? That’s another thing that is only marginally clear. But Jesus gave us plenty of teaching to live by, and I think that is the key to the answer. In the passage in Luke, we are given the understanding that we need to be watching; we need to be awake, not asleep. This is figurative, of course. Jesus is not telling us that we can’t ever sleep. As I type this, I’m actually kind of surprised that there’s not some crazy “pastor” out there teaching that we can’t ever sleep, because Jesus said not to.

Am I ready? Depends on what day you ask me. Just this week, I can guarantee you that there were days when I was most definitely not ready. Right this second, I would say, yes. But, duh. I’m doing my devotional, so of course my mind is on the things of God. In twenty minutes, when I’m on the road to work, that might change in a few seconds, especially if someone cuts me off in traffic. But if that happens (and isn’t it strange that this seems to be our favorite example of when we get angry at someone?), then I need to hearken back to previous prayer words . . . words like “there” and “shower,” and pray those words for whoever it was that “offended” me.

Father, I thank You for the love that I have in my life; love of my wife, love of my daughters, and love of my friends. These are things that I cannot afford to take for granted, and need to embrace and celebrate. Help me to do better at displaying the same kind of love to others, the love that You have shown to us.

I pray that You continue to speak peace and life into my life, that I might celebrate Your “wonderful words of life” as they grow within me and my spirit. Keep my soul, my heart, and my mind ready, Father. May I be prepared for Jesus to return, appearing when we know not, but confident that He will be appearing again. Let us all be “ready” when that happens, Father, not “asleep,” dabbling in worldly ways that distract us from You and Your presence. This is a challenge, Father, as the world has plenty of attractions.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
(Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.