That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts.
“Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, “Why, for any old thing.” said Baden-Powell. Realizing the importance of readiness, scouts train so that they will be prepared when faced with challenging tasks, complicated problems, and even minor medical emergencies. But, the scouts aren’t the only ones who understand the importance of being prepared for “any old thing.”
Residents of Florida understand that the proper response to the news of a hurricane heading our way is to be prepared.
Students who desire to pass an important test must be prepared.
Parents who want to be able to afford to send their kids to a good college must be prepared.
Soldiers heading to war must be prepared.
The married couple who finds out that they are going to be parents for the first time must be prepared.
The husband who forgot his wedding anniversary last year and knows that his anniversary is only a week away and wants to get himself out of the doghouse . . . must be prepared.
This week I was reading Matthew 25:1-13 in preparation for a segment I was filming for a promotional video to be shown at Christ’s Church.
With all of the preparations my wife and I are making as we prepare for a move to a new ministry the lessons of this passage resonated with me.
1″At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The 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. 8The 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. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’
12″But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
13″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
This parable is a reminder to be prepared—not for a storm, a test, a war, a move to Jacksonville, or “any old thing”—but for the most important thing of all time: the coming of our bridegroom, Jesus Christ.