— By TOMMY POPHIN
I’m a time-conscious kind of person. My father instilled in me the quality that I was not only to be where I was supposed to be on time, but I was to get there early.
As a child, if Sunday School started at 10 a.m., we would be there by 9:45 a.m. If anyone in our family of seven was dragging our feet on getting ready, we would “hear about it.” The result – I’m rarely not on time.
On the other side of the coin, when I was a teenager, if one of my buddies told me we would get together at a certain time, I was always ready and waiting 15 minutes early. At the five-minute mark, I started looking for my friends’ arrival. If they didn’t arrive “on time,” I started getting a little “bezerko” and by five after, I started calling and asking where they were. Of course, that was on the “old-fashioned corded” telephone, the kind with the circular dial. Over time, I have calmed down and become not so OCD about the whole time thing.
The idea of waiting is something I am not real patient about. In the Bible, there is a parable in which Jesus teaches us about what to do while we wait. It’s found in Matthew 25:1-13.
It’s called the parable of the 10 virgins who are waiting around at night for the bridegroom to come. There are five foolish virgins and five wise ones. The foolish ones are burning their lamps and only have the oil in the lamp as their reserve. The wise ones brought extra oil with them to add to the lamp. The bridegroom did not come to get them until it was late in the night. When the announcement was made that the bridegroom was coming, the foolish virgins began to beg oil from the wise ones. The wise ones refused. The foolish ones then had to leave to go get more oil. While they were gone, the bridegroom came and took them away.
I know that this sounds like a weird story for our day and time. This story was more appealing and relevant to those whom Jesus first spoke it. But here’s the point – Jesus is coming someday to take the living and the dead home to be with Him. The question is: “What are we doing while we wait?” Many Christians would answer that question with “nothing productive.” These types of Christians believe that once they have the guarantee of eternal life, their only job is to sit around, whine and complain about how horrible life is in this world and just wait. Wrong answer! The job of Christians is to “gather more oil.”
You’re thinking, “What?” Here is the deal. The job of the Christian, while waiting on the Lord’s return, is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those with whom they come into contact every day. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32).
So which do you choose: waiting wisely or waiting foolishly?
Tommy Pophin is Pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in Millsap. You are invited to visit the church located at 350 Beulah Lane at Fox Road. You can contact him at email@example.com or call 940-372-4444.