Be ready. Be ready for what? I can think of so many things that require us to be ready. Be ready for Thanksgiving, be ready for Christmas, be ready to take a final exam, be ready for the approaching snowstorm, be ready for the arrival of a new baby, be ready for arriving guests, be ready for dinner, be ready for a date........be ready, be ready, be ready.
It takes a lot of time, energy, effort and work to be ready. To be ready for a home cooked Thanksgiving meal takes about 2-3 days of preparation and then we turn around and do the same thing one month later as we work to be ready for Christmas Dinner. What about all the time, energy and effort we put into getting ready for Christmas Day never mind Christmas Dinner?! There is so much shopping, cleaning, wrapping, visiting, baking and...and...and....!! Let's move on from Christmas and think about all the college students who are putting in hours of studying this time of year to get ready for final exams. This time of year it isn't only about trying to be ready for final exams but we also want to be ready for any snowstorms. I can remember when we lived in New Hampshire and we took it very seriously when the weatherman forecasted a big Nor'Easter. We would fill the bathtub with water, fill up the gas tank on the snowblower, go to the store for groceries, stack up the firewood next to the wood stove and most importantly, we'd make sure that we had a good book to read to get us through the snowstorm. I knew of some families who even had the added excitement of trying to be ready for the arrival of a new baby during snowstorms! Now that is a double whammy but babies come whenever they are ready. Even without a snowstorm to add to the excitement of a new baby, Mom's and Dad's put in many hours to get ready for the arrival of their precious little ones. We do so many things this time of year to "be ready". This time of year many of us have guests arriving to our homes and most of us get ready for them by cleaning our homes and getting something ready for them to eat. One thing that doesn't happen just this time of year but all through the year is eating dinner. Every night in our house we all sit down together at the table to have dinner. We have done this all of our lives and I love dinner time. Dinner time give us a chance to sit together and catch up on the news of the day...... but....it takes some effort to get ready for dinner....it just doesn't happen automatically. A lot of planning, shopping and cooking happens before everyone gathers around the table for dinner. Getting ready for a date is something that also doesn't just happen automatically. To be ready for a date is also takes some planning and preparation. It doesn't matter whether we are married and getting ready for a date with our spouse or single and getting ready for a date with someone special, most of us will put in some effort to look better than usual. Thanksgiving, Christmas, final exams, snowstorms, new babies, guests, dinner and dates....it is a lot that we need to be ready for, but isn't it worth the effort? Isn't it worth our time and energy to be ready for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a final exam, an approaching snowstorm, the arrival of a new baby, guests, dinner or a date? Of course it is!!!!! I can't even imagine what it would be like to be unprepared for any of these events.
Sometimes the effort to be ready can be stressful, especially when we feel like we have too much to do; however, I don't think that the "being ready"always has to be stressful. Personally, I enjoy the "getting ready". I love to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I love to get the house ready for guests and I love preparing dinner for my family. I loved getting ready for the arrival of our three children. All those hours of "nesting" gave me great joy as I anticipated their arrivals and wondered what they would look like. I also loved my college days and even though preparing for a final exam was hard work, I loved learning and therefore did not mind studying for finals. The snowstorms in New Hampshire, although fierce at sometimes, were almost always very beautiful and it was a chance to slow down and stay at home in front of the wood stove with a good book. It is also fun to have guests spend time at our house and I think most of us enjoy getting ready for a special night out with a date. Personally, I don't consider the effort, work and energy required in the "getting ready" as something that I dread, but rather, I enjoy the time I put in to "be ready". I take pleasure and joy in getting ready because I look at "the getting ready" more as of a gift or a service that I am doing for people that I love rather than a chore that I want to hurry through just to get it done.
No doubt about it....getting ready takes time and effort but it is so worth it! Life requires us to "be ready". If we don't take the time and effort to "be ready" we miss out on a whole lot of joy and isn't it the joy that we are all seeking when we put in the time and effort to be ready? The joy of spending time on Thanksgiving Day with a good meal and family, the joy of seeing a loved one open up that perfect gift on Christmas morning, the joy of getting an "A" on a final exam, the joy of being able to snuggle down inside a warm house with a good book during a huge snowstorm, the indescribable joy of holding your new baby, the joy of spending time with guests, the joy of sitting down to a hot meal with your family at the end of a busy day or the joy of time spent with someone you love or at least like on a date. To "be ready" requires work, effort and energy but in the end it is so very worth it because it brings us joy and in most cases it also gives joy to other people.
To "be ready" here at Soaring Wings Ministries takes time, effort and work but just like all the other things that take time, effort and work to "be ready", it is so worth it!!!! We do the hard work, we put in the effort and we give of our time because it brings us joy and ultimately it will bring joy a homeless families or young adults who will be living here. Even though we find joy in our work here, our ultimate joy in all that we do here at Soaring Wings Ministries is because each one of us has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This personal relationship Jesus is the reason why we are here in Colorado and why we are working to be ready for a homeless family to live here. God has given us work to do and as we go about our work we hear the still, small voice of Jesus telling us to "be ready". I have to make it perfectly clear that when I say we hear the still, small voice of Jesus, I don't mean that we actually hear an audible voice, but rather it is a nudging, a sense, a thought that won't leave us or coincidences that are not really coincidences at all but rather God in heaven reaching down to guide us in our work here. God wants us to "be ready" for the people that will live here at Soaring Wings Ministries and we anticipate that this will be happening very soon; but, and this is a very big but, more than anything else God wants us to "be ready" for a deeper and closer relationship with Him. There is nothing that He desires more than to have a deep, personal and everlasting relationship with each one of us. Like any other relationship in life, having a deeper and closer relationship with God means that we have to put some time and effort into the relationship, but...... it is so worth it! Personally, for me to have a deeper relationship with God, means that I have to get up early in the morning, about 4:30 am., to find some quiet time, some time alone with God. During that quiet time early in the morning I read my Bible and pray. That time with Him so early in the morning when the house is quiet and it is just me and God is so very precious and fulfilling. The closer relationship that I gain with Him because of time spent with Him brings me pure joy!
I can personally testify to the fact that this call to "be ready", especially in our walk with God, is a good thing because of the joy. I can't think of a better time of year to focus on what it means to "be ready" and all the joy that comes with it. In the weeks ahead we will spend a lot of time and effort to "be ready" for Christmas. We want to have a joyful Christmas Day with our family and friends and so we work hard to "be ready". As we work to "be ready" for Christmas, our greatest effort to "be ready" for Christmas Day should focus on spending time with our Lord and Savior. It is His birth that we celebrate on Christmas Day and it is a personal relationship with Him that brings us ultimate joy. The very Good News of Christmas is Jesus and that the joy of having a personal relationship with God through Jesus is meant FOR EVERYONE! On that first Christmas morning many, many years ago, the shepherds were busy doing their job of keeping watch over their flocks at night. While they were doing their job "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10 & 11. Please don't skim over those very important words from Luke 2:10 "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people". All people.....that means me and it means you.
"Be ready". "Be ready" for Christmas, final exams, snowstorms, new babies, guests, family dinners and dates and for whatever else in your life requires you to "be ready"; but, most importantly "be ready" for a closer relationship with Jesus that will come when you spend time with Him through prayer and reading your Bible. Focus on the good news of that first joyous Christmas morning and "be ready" for the joy that will come to you...the joy from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that was meant for all people!
Soaring Wings Ministries
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries