The Risk of Being Unprepared
I had a teacher in high school who taught using pneumonic devices. I memorized a lot that year using his chosen technique, and lucky for me, that technique has worked for me throughout the years.
The one I remember most went something like this:
Proper Pre-Planning Prevents Poor Performance
It was written like this: P6 .
(Ok, so I can’t actually remember if it’s to the 5th or 6th power. Pre may not be part of the phrase. However, same general idea and effect.)
This weekend I got behind on my blog posts because I almost had a panic attack when I realized I hadn’t pre-planned appropriately for something coming up. I got a little (LOT) stressed in a very short amount of time.
Once I had a plan, I started thinking about how the whole scenario played into my month of risk on the blog. Not being prepared is risky. Not being prepared leads to poor performance.
I don’t handle poor performance well. I’m a perfectionist. Granted, I have some issues that might lead you to believe otherwise, but those issues actually stem from my unrealistic perfectionist tendencies.
I tried to convince myself that God doesn’t always need us to be prepared. That sometimes we just have to fly by the seat of our pants. Sometimes we do, but God reminded me of something else this time.
This parable represents our readiness when Jesus comes again. There will be no flying by the seat of our pants when that time comes.
The ten virgins invited to escort the bridegroom were divided. Five of them were wise, and five, well, not so much.
The five foolish virgins showed up unprepared. They brought their lamps, but took no oil for their lamps. The foolish virgins gave off the appearance of being prepared, but in all reality they were far from prepared.
The wise virgins not only had their lamps with oil, but they also had an extra supply of oil. The wise virgins were prepared for any circumstances that might come up.
The bridegroom came at an odd hour, midnight! Immediately all the wedding party began preparing and lighting their lamps. The foolish virgins asked the wise virgins to give them some of their oil.
The oil in this parable represents the Holy Spirit. Many people profess to be Christians, perhaps ever appear to be Christians, but when the truth comes out, their vessels aren’t full of the Holy Spirit. We can’t borrow Holy Spirit from the saints who have taken the time to prepare and fill their vessels.
The wise virgins answered the foolish virgins clearly. No. If we give you from our surplus we might not have enough.
Sometimes Christian people give away everything they have. We must be careful to protect our relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit. We must have time to read the Bible, pray, and seek His face. We can’t always give away our time and risk giving away our refilling from the Holy Spirit. Our vessel must be filled to overflowing before we have any excess to share.
Because the foolish virgins weren’t prepared, didn’t have their vessels full of oil, they were turned away.
The risk of being unprepared?
Being turned away at the gates of Heaven.
Can you imagine thinking you could scrape by and hearing, “I’m sorry. I never knew you.”? These women thought they were the groom’s friend, but they were absolutely turned away as unknown strangers.
Even worse, once the door was shut it was shut for good. There aren’t any second chances once we stand before the judgment throne. We must be prepared before the time comes or else we run the risk of facing eternity as a stranger instead of a son.
When should the virgins have been prepared? Continually. The bridegroom came at midnight, an unexpected hour. We do not know the day nor hour of Christ’s second coming. Just like the virgins, we have the responsibility to be prepared at all times. If not, we run the risk of being turned away for all of eternity.
Is our vessel full or are you confused? If you have questions, if you are seeking a Savior but aren’t sure what you need to do, if you simply feel a tug on your heart that you don’t know what it means…I’d love to talk to you and pray with you. If you already have a body of believers you worship with, please pick up the phone and call one of them RIGHT NOW! Do not wait!!!!
I don’t know about you, but I want to be wise not foolish. Prepared rather than unprepared. Ushered in instead of turned away. This is one issue I don’t want to take a risk in, and I don’t want you to risk it either. Be sure. Be very sure.