Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
It never fails. I usually arrive in the parking lot of the course at 8:50 for our 9:00 regular Saturday morning tee time. I intend on getting there early to have plenty of time to change shoes, mark a couple balls, then hit a few chips and putts. Instead, I usually find myself rushing to get to the first tee box without even a tee, ball marker, or glove pulled out of my bag. It’s hard to jump out of the truck and attempt to execute a descent shot off of the first tee.
Sunday mornings are no different for the unprepared Christian. When it’s hard to find our Bible, odds are we didn’t read it the night before or any other day of the week. If we can’t find the scripture text mentioned by the pastors, odds are we aren’t familiar enough with our Bible. If we come into the house of the Lord looking to find the spirit, odds are we are going to be disappointed if we are not prepared. Just as it is helpful to swing a golf club a few times prior to a round, it is beneficial to pray and be entrenched in the study of God’s word prior to entering the church service. It is easy to try and allow the pastor or Sunday School teacher to force feed us into strong spirituality. Sounds like their job, right?
Matthew 25:1-12 is the parable from Jesus about the ten virgins prior to the arrival of the bridegroom. Five made preparation with oil for their lamps while the vessels of the other five were void of any oil or concern. When the bridegroom’s arrival was announced, the unprepared virgins tarried and sought oil for their vessels. While out in an attempt to secure oil, the bridegroom arrived and locked the door behind them.
The story is a lesson on the need for salvation prior to the “shifting of the door” or waiting too late in life. However, the story can be related to each of our need for preparedness for any meeting with Christ. From their outside appearance, each of the virgins looked identically ready for the bridegroom’s arrival. The realization did not set in until the need of the oil arose. Many times we do not realize the lack of our readiness until it is too late (see Algebra 2 final exam 1994, Advanced Biology 1995).
Five of the virgins were prepared while the other five had a plan. The five who were prepared were able sleep awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. The five who had a plan procrastinated wrongly on the hopes of a last minute attainment of oil for their vessel. We can have a plan, but it must be accompanied by preparation. The preparations for the believer should always include prayer and a study of God’s word. Come prepared!