I love to travel! I love to see new places, experience different cultures, and unplug with my family. But, as much as I love to get away, I really dislike the “travel” portion of the trip. It is so exhausting! So, I make every effort to shorten it. I try to only book direct flights, I check as few bags as I can, and I arrive at the airport as late as possible, while still getting through security and to my gate on time. In fact, if I do it right, I will arrive at the gate just in time to board. But, you have to be careful. Once the aircraft door is closed, it will not be reopened, no matter how much you beg and plead.
This reminds me of the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids that Jesus speaks of in the book of Matthew.
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” . . .
But while [the five virgins without enough oil] 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. Later the others also came. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us!”
– Matthew 25:1-6, 10-11
All ten bridesmaids thought that they would be welcomed into the wedding feast. All ten bridesmaids had their lamps in hand and were waiting. Unfortunately, five of the bridesmaids let their lamps die out. They did not anticipate how long it would take the groom to return. They were not prepared and ran out of oil. They missed their opportunity to enter in. The door was closed, and no matter how much they begged or pleaded, it was too late.
But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.” Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. – Matthew 25:12-13
This really is a scary parable. No one knows the hour of Christ’s return. And, no one is guaranteed tomorrow. We need to prepare ourselves for that day by keeping our flame burning strong for God. We do this by meditating on the Word of God, by spending time with Him alone in prayer, and by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in our lives that compromise who we are as children of God.
Ladies, we must not grow complacent as we wait, nor let justification and rationalization of sinful behavior snuff out our flames. Make every effort to be prepared for your final moments here on earth before the door shuts. Because once it does, it will not be reopened.