(Jesus said) "Therefore stay awake -- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning -- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake." Mark 13:35-37
We are an impatient people.
Last month an old friend showed up at the house for a short visit. Knowing he had driven a considerable distance, I asked, "How was your trip?"
He replied, "There were a lot of police on the road."
We all know what he meant. He hadn't been able to drive at the speed he wanted. He couldn't set his cruise control higher than the posted limit.
Not so long ago I heard about a bunch of drivers who were on an interstate in Pennsylvania. They were proceeding at a pretty good clip until they saw a highway patrol car coming down the ramp.
One after another, the cars' brake lights flashed on. Nobody passed anybody. Everybody behaved.
Everybody kept glancing in their rearview mirror, waiting for that moment when the officer would disappear, and they would be free to do as they wished. After a few miles of watching the comedy in front of him, the policeman activated his bullhorn and called out to the drivers ahead of him: "I'm not a Pennsylvania State policeman! I'm from Connecticut! You can speed up now!"
We are an impatient people.
* When you go to a department store, you scan the registers to see which line is shortest. You check out the stuff in the other customers' carts to see who will take longer to ring out.
* At the bank's drive-up teller window, you go where the line is shortest.
* At the fast-food place you get upset if the persons in the cars ahead of you put in a big order.
* When we vote, we don't want to be slowed down by too lengthy ballots.
Don't believe me? Ask a grade-school teacher what it's like when Christmas vacation rolls around. Ask them whether they can get anything done during that last week of school. It's hard because the students are incredibly impatient for Christmas vacation.
Truly, we are an impatient people.
That is one reason why it is so very hard for us to obey Jesus when He tells us to watch for His return. It's hard to do. It's not part of our nature. We want what we want, and we want it right now. And, if we can't have it right now, we're going to do something else.
Yes, it's hard waiting for Jesus. Even so, we ought to do it. Why?
* Because Jesus asked us to be prepared for that unknown hour.
* Because we will be released from the testing and temptations of this sinful place.
* Because when Jesus returns, all those who believe and have been granted forgiveness are going to be given a life which makes the best offerings of this world seem second-rate.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive our impatience and our failure to be committed to the simplest requests of the Savior. Grant that we may be proven faithful to You and prepared for that unknown hour when this world will end and a new world ~ a better world ~ shall begin. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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