Instead of a virtual endless supply of "tomorrows" I am constantly wishing yesterday lasted juuussst a bit longer. This oncoming rush of the inevitable future changes every moment of every day. This evening I had to take all three kids to my three year olds dance class at five.
What it would have looked like if it was just me going somewhere at five:
4:00-- Eat a snack
4:15-- Read something on the internet
4:30-- close my eyes for a few minutes---the afternoon "sleepies" always get me
4:45-- Look for my keys
4:50--Drive to where I need to be
What it looks like taking three kids ages; 5 months, 3, and, 5 somewhere at 5
3:30-- Try to get a snack around so they don't melt down before we get back home around 6
3:45-- change a diaper
3:50-- argue with the three year old about going to the potty
3:55-- Find the multiple clothes that have been thrown in different rooms of the house instead of staying on
4:00-- Fill milk cups
4:05-- Get a bottle ready for the baby
4:10-- Find shoes
4:15-- Spend five minutes anxiously looking for keys that "someone" moved
4:20-- change a diaper
4:25-- Try to find coats
4:30-- Get baby in car seat
4:35-- start getting kids in car
4:40-- run back in house for forgotten NECESSARY items
4:45-- run back in house for sippy cups
4:50--leave while yelling at everyone to just be quiet
If you have kids this probably looks very familiar.
Having kids has taught me an essential life truth. Tomorrow is going to sneak up on you whether you are prepared or not. And if you don't get prepared for it, it will go verrrrryyyy poorly for you. Things are going to happen. Much of it out of your control. Once we realize that, come to terms with it and accept it, we HAVE to start preparing for it.
In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 Paul is speaking to the Church about the reality that the One who has risen WILL return. And we should not let it, "surprise us like a thief in the night." So much of life is living as if tomorrow won't come. Then, it does. Which often means being woefully unprepared.
Being a good parent means accepting that every day I have to stay one step ahead of my kids. There are NO breaks. After a while you can even begin to sense problems minutes ahead of time and cut them off at the pass. Ever vigilant is the only way to succeed in parenting.
Living this way can seem exhausting. Especially if you are one of those poor uninitiated innocents without kids yet. But it is worth it. One, because staying prepared makes our lives so much easier and more enjoyable, and, two, because there is nothing in my life that is more satisfying than being a parent and loving, and being loved, by my kids.
Paul's point is similar in value and purpose. We can pretend all we want that tomorrow isn't going to come, but it won't change that it will. So what are we doing about it right now?
It is too often that many of us live out our faith with an attitude of, "eh, we will figure it out when it's time". Paul shouts at us, "Wake up, it's coming, be faithful, encourage one another, stay sharp!"
Whether Jesus comes back tonight, or, in 1000 years, are you living your faith awake and sober? Or, are you drunkenly sleeping away the day?