Ready and Awake

On Monday, I used a scripture from Peter’s first letter (1Peter 1:13). I cited it while writing about the business of last week, how we are getting the most out of Summer, preparing for school to resume. It was my boy that mentioned cramming lots of stuff into the short remaining days. I told him that come next Monday he’d have to put on his thinking cap, get his pen fingers ready, and sharpen his eyes, for his primary mission resumes: his studies. He’ll need to put out of his head the activities of summer. I need him to get ready for school, so that he can concentrate on his school work.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1Peter 1:13

“Gird up your loins. . .” Funny statement in Western society, isn’t it? Some years ago, in Sri Lanka, I had one of those moments when I understood what it meant. A few men readied themselves as laborers on a road repair job. The wraps that surround their legs would be in the way, so they gather them beneath their loins, add a knot, and they are ready to move about the site without the long material obstructing their legs. They girded up their loins. They made themselves ready.

My son needs to gird up his loins, too. He’s already bought his books, and has a book bag ready to go. There will be a few more things to do, but he’s nearly ready. And we need to gird up our loins, too. Winter comes upon us quickly now. There’s the physical aspect that means we’ll prepare the garden to last the winter months. When I lived up in the mountains between Arizona and New Mexico, I would be gathering dead and down wood in the forest, getting ready to heat the house during the cold winters.

What about our spiritual loins? Ready our minds for action. Continually turn over the soil of our hearts so that we are fresh to receive from our Lord. We cultivate our relationship through our mindfulness of Him. In the morning when we arise, the cares of the day present themselves, and our task, our duty, isn’t necessarily to push those thoughts away, but to find Y’shuaJesus’s Word and Way, allowing Him to be in the forefront. It is our obligation as Children of the Most High G-d. It isn’t just about a life of prayer; it’s about a life in Messiah. We bring Messiah into all things. We involve Him in all things, even the mundane tasks that we dread. We include Messiah Y’shuaJesus. We abide in Him and He abides in us. Thank You, Lord!

And then there’s Distractions.

Yesterday, while driving up to the lake with my son to do some work on a sailboat, my son noticed several drivers using cell phones and appeared to not pay enough attention to the road ahead. Occasionally one would cross the line or slow down as he or she looked down, as if to be looking at some paperwork or something. My son said, simply, “Distracted Driver.”

Last night a news article on the television reported on people walking along city streets reading and sending text messages. The report showed a clip from YouTube with a woman holding a cell phone to her face tripping and falling into a fountain pond. The news anchor, said there has been a sharp increase in accidents related to cell phone usage over the past several years requiring medical attention. I inferred from things he said later that some cities may be considering laws about using cell phones in public. Already some States’ traffic ordinances prohibit such usage.

Wake Up!

“Be sober. . .” What’s being sober mean to you? Is it really about not drinking too many alcoholic beverages? I think not. I think it is about more than just one thing, but includes the idea of being awake. There was a cartoon floating around not long ago that said the zombie apocalypse has already happened. It had a row of city folks walking with heads down looking at their cell phones. (Zombies again! Moan. . .) Being awake is being aware of what we are doing, being focused with a single vision while also mindful of what’s in our peripheral vision. Nothing will sneak up on us if we are aware of our surroundings!

Being awake or sober is being alert. We are called by Y’shuaJesus to watch out.

Watch out and keep praying that you can escape all that is going to happen and that the Son of Man will be pleased with you.

Luke 21:36

The woman on the YouTube video that fell into the fountain pond while texting from her phone didn’t escape getting wet.

Y’shuaJesus spoke about seeing what’s ahead of us, what’s coming.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.

Matthew 24:32

Yes, He was speaking of the “End Times.” He was speaking of reading the signs. Americans are largely city folk these days. Not too many cities have fig trees. The illustration, modernized, might use traffic signs on a freeway, e.g., Lane Closed Ahead. From readiness to alertness. Driving at freeway speeds, readiness means knowing if there are cars near you, in the lanes to the left and right, behind and ahead. If you know that a car is to your left, nearby, you can avoid an obstacle in the highway by moving to the right. If you don’t know, you may move left into the path of the other vehicle.

Peter spoke of being reading, girding up your loins. It is preparedness. He said to be sober. We are called to be awake, alert. But it’s not all just about us, either. It isn’t just about not falling into a fountain pool. We are ready and alert so that we “hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Matthew Henry put it this way, “address ourselves vigorously to the work we have to do, encouraging ourselves from the grace of Jesus Christ.” This work is a benefit to us, and to those to whom we’ve been called. It is a work that builds our character and utilizes our gifts.

As we get ready for winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we face longer, colder nights. Perhaps it is a time to dust off unused talents. I think of the parable of the talents. I could be the guy that buried my talent because I was afraid to use it and perhaps lose it. My message to me, today, is to figure out what I buried, to unearth it, and make it ready. Then be alert to how it may be used to the Glory of G-d, in the Name of The Lord Y’shuaJesus, Messiah, King.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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