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From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:
I suppose it is human nature to want to know when things we look forward to (or dread) will happen. For the person on death row, it’s called a death watch – once the dreaded date has been set and the sand runs through the hourglass. To the expectant mother, the feeling is one of anticipation and excitement. To the teen, it’s turning 16 and being able to drive a car. “Anticipation,” Carly Simon sang, “is making me wait.”
The disciples naturally were curious about the timing of things Jesus spoke about. Especially when it came to apocalyptic types of things. They wanted to know because, well, inquiring minds want to know! They may have figured that it might help them be better prepared if they knew. And therein is the rub, is it not? What does that imply? That if they knew, they could put on a last-ditch effort at holiness and preparedness to be as sure as they could that they were ready.
Jesus would have none of it. He dismissed their questions as foolish speculation, and said that he didn’t know the answer either. Humanly speaking, I can see where it might be advantageous to know the exact date and time. I can guarantee that many would try to “clean up” their act the day before. But God’s wisdom works so much differently than ours. Jesus tried to redirect his followers interest from the date/time of when it would happen, to the question of readiness. God seems to say that it’s wise to NOT know – because that should encourage us to be ready at any and all times.
A Hasidic rabbi who was interrupted by one of his followers while he was tending his garden, was asked: “What would you do, rabbi, if you knew the Messiah was coming today?” Stroking his beard and pursing his lips, the rabbi replied, “Well, I would continue to water my garden.”
God has placed each of us in the middle of a garden of souls, our own included. Our job is to tend the garden, not worry about when the landowner will return. Tend to your own soul and your readiness for that day. Tend to your friends and neighbors and family’s soul. Help them be ready.
May we all live in such a way that if we DID know He was returning today, that’d we’d continue on as if nothing special would happen this day.
Matt 24:3 – As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’
1 John 2:28 – And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: Jesus, we need you to give us the gift of discerning how we should live and not to entertain ourselves with irrelevant questions! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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