The grocery store shelves were empty earlier this week. Hurricane Sandy was on its way into our region and local residents had cleared the shelves of emergency items like milk, bread, and bottled water. At places like Home Depot and Lowes demands for sump pumps, generators and batteries outstripped the supply. The newspaper reported that the stores were frantically trying to keep other “essentials” in stock. For some people, this meant stocking up on doughnuts and pizza. A crowd celebrated when one truck arrived with 1100 bags of potato chips to meet the customers’ demands. (Since when were potato chips part of a basic survival kit?)
Everyone wanted to be prepared for a disaster.
Crises have a way of helping us strip away the superficial and focus on the essential. Yet, how strange that we listen to the weather report, accept it as gospel truth, and prepare well ahead of time for natural disasters but so few people think to prepare for a far more important event. John the Baptist shouted, “Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him.” He sent out those warnings two thousand years ago alerting people to the reality of impending judgment, yet how many of us spend more time planning for a snowstorm than we do preparing to face God?
Snow will come, yes, but it will melt in a few days and soon be forgotten. Flood waters will recede and people will rebuild homes. What are we doing to prepare for eternity? What will it take to get our priorities in order? If you knew that Jesus was coming for dinner tonight at your home, what changes would you make in your schedule for today?