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Are we prepared to wait patiently

Pastor's corner

POSTED: December 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Patience and preparation are qualities in short supply in America today. We don’t wait well! Why should we? We will do almost anything to avoid the wait in lines. Don’t we have a right to have it our way and have it now? Immediate gratification is almost an American right.
A classic Gospel reading on preparation and patience comes from Matthew 25: 1-13. You will probably recall that it’s about the 10 bridesmaids who had to wait. We are told that five were wise and five were foolish but all of them took lamps and set out to meet the bridegroom. Then they waited and waited. They waited so long that they all fell asleep. Then the shout came that the bridegroom was coming. Everyone awakened and adjusted their dresses, straightened their veils and grabbed their lamps. Then things became hectic.
Many of the bridesmaids realized they did not have enough oil for their lamps.
 “Give me some of your oil.” one cried to another.
“Sorry don’t have enough,” came the reply.
So the murmurs arose among the bridesmaids. What can be done for those who were unprepared for the wait?
Why not share the oil among all the bridesmaids? Isn’t everyone entitled to some of the oil that’s left? The lesson says, “no.” More oil must be bought. Failure to prepare has its consequences. God requires our preparation and patience. We are expected to prepare for the lean times like Joseph helping the Egyptians in Genesis 41. Preparation gives us hope, which leads us to fulfillment of God’s promises.
The bridesmaids who failed to prepare did not make the wedding. When we take the time to prepare to do something well and are patient for the outcome, we are usually blessed with a good outcome.
On the other hand, when we do not prepare because we are impatient or focus on activities of little consequence, we are disappointed. Our failure to prepare or impatience can even have eternal consequences – joy or disaster. Chances are that we will have to wait to know which. Are we prepared to wait?
 

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