25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
I cannot get this story out of my head. God has really been showing me lately how to prepare for Heaven and what it looks like and what it requires.
SO …. back in the day engagements were weird. So glad things have changed! Basically as soon as you got engaged, the dude took off and you wouldn’t know when he was coming back. But as soon as he did come back, it was wedding time! STRESSFUL!
Because of the whole no phone thing, the bride would have to wake up everyday and get ready as if it were the day of her wedding because who knew when Mr. Prince Charming would walk through the doors. And it wasn’t just the bride who had to be ready, her bridesmaids had better get their game face on too. They had to look good and stand outside every night with oil lamps to make a path for the Groom so he knew where to find his bride.
Now, in this story, I totally feel the 5 “foolish” girls. I mean, that’s a lot of work! We all know how long it takes to do your hair, let alone wedding hair. Same with makeup. Same with taking a shower! And then to always have oil on hand. That’s a lot to do everyday.
And I never quite related to this story until recently…
When you hit that 38 week mark in your pregnancy, any day is the day that you could have a child (by the time this post goes out, I will have a child). And there’s things you want in place. You want to make sure you have groceries, you want to make sure the house is clean, your hospital bag has to tag along with you everywhere you go, your phone needs to be charged, AND you want to look good. Go ahead and judge me, but I want my hair and makeup decent for those labour and delivery pictures. So literally every day I shower and do my hair and do my makeup and tidy the house and make sure there are groceries and make sure youth stuff is totally ready to go.
Not going to lie, this past week has been super mundane. It’s getting boring. It feels like I’m doing things that are insignificant. It’s getting frustrating because it’s like man that was a lot of work and he’s still not here! So I feel ya “5 foolish bridesmaids!!!” No judgement here from me!
But it’s been a good life lesson. Here’s what I’m learning about preparing for Heaven:
It can be mundane; meaning ordinary or common. The sermons on prepping for Heaven are so flashy and so motivating and so in your face and so …. “sparkly.” As in, the preacher makes it seem like preparing for Heaven and getting ready is very adventurous and spectacular and looks like you’re chillin in an orphanage rescuing babies or you are standing on a hill top and preaching the Gospel. For some, yeah that’s the picture (but it’s not as glamorous as it looks), but for most of us, it’s everyday life like going to school and sports and doctors appointments and errands.
It’s finding the miracles in the mundane of our schedule. It’s reading our Bible everyday even when it’s boring and you feel like you’re getting nothing. It’s honouring your parents, it’s bringing cookies to your new neighbours, it’s being consistent in your area of serving at church. It’s what happens behind closed doors. The worship by your bedside. The conversations in the school hallways.
Prepping for Heaven is sort of in a way prepping for a kid or a wedding (if you’re from Bible days). It’s waking up and getting yourself ready; not so much physically ready although staying healthy is part of it, but it’s putting on the armour of God and clothing ourselves in what is good and right and just and fair and holy. And it may feel like you are doing things that are insignificant because it’s not in the spot light or paying well (or at all), or no one sees it… but in light of eternity it’s huge. God works in the mundane.
It’s an E V E R Y D A Y type of thing. It can’t happen once a week, it can’t happen once a month. You won’t be ready! Remember the story in Exodus when God miraculously provided manna for the starving, homeless Israelites? And remember the rule God gave them? They can only eat what He provides THAT day. It doesn’t work to store the manna and eat it the next day.
The one devo you did last month, isn’t still sustaining you.
Every. Single. Day. Prepare yourselves for Jesus to come. Do you know him? Are you responding to the call He gave you to tell the world about Jesus? Are you living as an example to the world of what it looks like to live for Christ? Are you being obedient?
If Jesus came right now, what is one regret you would have?
That may be a good place to start in prepping for Heaven!