Unfinished thoughts on Ready
I started typing as fast as I could, hoping I wasn’t leaving a trail of errors on the page. How much pressure can they add? I had enough to worry about. After all, this test would determine my salary working for this temp agency, the salary that needed to support the two of us during our last year of seminary. My nerves got the best of me and my test came back at one of the lowest levels.
I knew I could do better. So I went to my next interview, determined to show my true abilities. The same electric typewriter model mockingly dared me to redeem myself. Another tiny room set my heart racing and my fingers trembling. But this experience was totally different.
“When I hear you typing, I’ll start the timer. Take your time to get ready.”
Those calm comments produced a word count that doubled my previous effort! I was declared a senior typist with a salary that would keep our heads above water for the coming year.
When I’m getting ready to go out for an evening, I set aside enough time to be sure I’m not keeping my husband waiting. It doesn’t move me along any faster to hear him keep asking, “Are you ready yet?”
Actually he was the one who wasn’t ready when it was time to go to the hospital for our third child. I had my suitcase packed and was out the door and in the car. But he had to first drop a check off at the church for a youth outing scheduled for the next day. And there was also no gas in the car, a stop we couldn’t afford to miss. Well, ready or not, this baby was on its way, and we had a forty mile drive ahead of us.
I do like to be ready, on time. My family, when I was growing up, seemed to be late for just about everything, especially church. If we arrived during the opening hymn, that was considered prompt. I was determined not to continue this habit with my own family, but it was a struggle many Sunday mornings, especially with three children to shoo out the door. Even today, when it’s just myself to get ready, no matter how early I get up, there are last minute things I’m doing right before I leave the house.
The worst thing anyone in our family can be doing is sitting down while everyone else is busy getting the house ready for company. I’m afraid some of us have become experts at “looking like” we are doing something just to avoid an accusing comment.
I have mixed emotions when someone asks me, “Are you ready for this?” It could be some amazingly wonderful news… or another blow that shatters a friend’s life.
Living in California, we need to be ready for earthquakes, but the real threat is fire. We hear public service announcements on a regular basis, telling us how to be ready for any number of emergencies. It’s exhausting to keep up with all of the preparedness requirements for disasters. I wonder if it’s really possible to be ready for everything that might happen. After all, “things” are just going to show up in our lives. They don’t need a reason, an excuse. So how can we possibly prepare for it all?
I hope I’m always ready when someone asks me what I put my hope in. It’s not the readiness of this earthly life that is really all that important. How can I explain to someone that being ready for my Lord isn’t making sure everything is neat and clean in my life? Ready isn’t worrying about doing everything right and just sitting around afraid to move because I might mess something up.
I know if I’m thinking this way, I’ll always have one more thing I feel I need to do before I go… before I’m ready for the Lord Jesus to take me home to heaven. But I know what He’ll say when I see Him face to face. I can hear Him chuckling and feel His gentle arm around me:
“It’s okay. No more cleaning. No more getting ready. No more need for forgiveness. Quit looking in the closet trying to decide what to wear! I’ve got your perfectly spotless outfit all picked out. Let me help you put it on.”
I’m not ready for Christmas, as far as what the world can see. Christmas cards aren't mailed. Tree isn't up. House not decorated. And my kids will soon be home from all corners of the country and the world, so I'd better be ready for them. .
But one thing's for sure. Our family is definitely ready to joyfully celebrate the gift of salvation that is offered to all... this Holy Baby’s birth!
Leaving my guilt at the cross,