The Readiness Is All
I read this quote the other day about "being ready" from Tim Fargo, a writer and blogger. He wrote, "Opportunity doesn't make appointments, you have to be ready when it arrives."
I like that quote even though it's one of those quotes you usually see on a placard somewhere at a leadership conference, or a motivational poster on someone's office wall. It's simple and true.
The fact of the matter is, most of us don't live our lives poised to take advantage of opportunities. We don't live our lives ready to step boldly into the future. If we are being honest, most of us live our lives pretty much the same way every single day--the same patterns, the same roads, the same activities...
And we do this because it feels comfortable. There's typically not enough going on to bust us out of the inertia that we create out of a need for safety and security. B
ut on occasion, we experience what storytellers call an "inciting incident"--something that shocks us, moves us, jars us loose. Maybe it's a good thing like a promotion, or a new love interest, or perhaps it's something not so good like a bad diagnosis or a tragedy.
The question that most of never really have to answer is, "What do I do when that moment arrives?" I see this as a spiritual issue, honestly. It's a problem that takes place between the head and the heart.
When those inciting incident arrive, we might think we would act a certain way, exhibit a particularly strong faith, give glory to God, etc., but until it happens we don't truly know what we'll do.
In Luke 9:61 a man says to Jesus, "I will follow, Lord, but first let me go and say goodbye to my family." Jesus offers this cryptic and challenging reply to the man. "Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God."
Jesus was using a very practical illustration to point out the real problem that most people have when it comes to selling out for God. If you're plowing a field and keep looking back to see what you've done, you'll get off course and start plowing crooked. But if you fix your eyes on one spot, and unwaveringly move toward that spot, you'll stay straight.
This guy was giving lip service to following Jesus, but he had all kinds of things he was unwilling to leave behind to do it. His excuse was that he wanted to say goodbye to his family--maybe he meant it, who knows?
But Jesus knew that one excuse would lead to another, and then another, and then the man would find himself not doing what he claimed he wanted to do. He'd be left behind when all was said and done.
So, how ready are you to follow Jesus--wherever Jesus might be leading you? How ready are you to put your hand to the plow and fix your eyes on Him as you step forward?
May you discover readiness you never knew you had. May you be filled with boldness and courage to follow Jesus and to never look back. May you be willing to step out of what is comfortable and safe toward what is uncomfortable and life-giving.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.