Warm Up: Matthew 24:43, But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.
Stretching: Read Matthew 25: 1-13
Run: Runners are told to run facing traffic so that you can see oncoming vehicles in the lane closest to you. I like the feel of going against the flow of traffic. I want to see what is coming at me instead of having large chunks of flying metal and iron coming up behind me at break neck speeds. At least then, if something goes wrong, I have a little reaction time. I want to be able to look into the faces of the people trying to run me over! As ludicrous as it sounds, someone could think it’s funny to throw something out the window of a moving vehicle trying to hit an unsuspecting runner passing by; sort of like a moving shooting gallery or an arcade game. I want them to see the whites of my eyes and know that I’ll hunt them down until I find them. Once, I was running along a fairly secluded stretch of road that paralleled beach front property. As a car came rolling towards me, my runner’s sixth sense went into high alert. There were several teenagers in the car. Just after the car had passed, someone in the vehicle threw some fire crackers out the window that went off in quick succession like the sound of a small rapid fire weapon or machine gun. I suppose they had a good chuckle about that. Fortunately, their little prank didn’t give me a heart attack because I was prepared. Had the whole thing come up behind me, I’m sure I’d still be lying in the ditch along that road.
In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus reminds his disciples that they should be prepared for his return. It’s not a matter of if he’ll return, but a matter of when. In today’s Stretching, both the foolish and the wise virgins were waiting for his return. But the wise were prepared when the trumpet sounded and he came in the black of night. They were the ones who went into the arriage feast with the groom. So, the admonition is to always be watching AND prepared. Don’t let this time sneak up on you and surprise you. It’s amazing to me how we plan for a race. Everything in our lives works around that race date. We plan a training schedule that will help prepare us for our maximum potential on that day. Once we commit to the training, everything revolves around race day. Yet, the Bible is clear that we are not even guaranteed tomorrow. I know people have been saying Jesus will come back since the day he left. But the signs of the age clearly indicate it could be during your training run today. I venture to say, we are far more prepared for race day than for the return of Jesus.
Cool Down: “I can be so enthralled by the things of this world that I forget I don’t belong here. It just gets so comfortable ‘going with the flow of traffic’. But, I’m reminded today to look up with the hope that you are coming back to take me away from this world…soon. Help me to live like you’re coming back today but preparing for tomorrow just the same. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”