Pastor in the Pasture By Wendel Elliott: Being Prepared
“Wendel, go to the truck and pull up 20cc of BenzaPen with an 18 gauge inch and a half, grab a wrap, dmso, furacin, vetrap, and elasticon.” As I trotted back to the vet’s truck and in the process of remembering the list, I came to a skidding halt. I thought to myself, “Joe Bob is going to be pissed!” I hadn’t restocked the vet box and I knew that it was out of vetrap and elasticon from the previous night’s emergency call. I gathered up what was in stock and on the list, dropped my head on the way back waiting for what I knew was coming. I handed the stuff I had to him and said, “we don’t have the vetrap and elasticon.” I was thankful the customer was standing there; at least it wouldn’t be as bad. He shook his head and said, “grab me a field bandage then.” I ran back to the pickup this time grabbed the field bandage and made a hundred yard dash that would rival any track and field star. The horse was treated and bandaged but it was not ideal. Days like those made an important point of being prepared. I learned a lot of life lessons and vet care there in that job and I am so thankful to have them.
In today’s society there are a growing number of people that see and act on the importance of being prepared. They prepare supplies and needed materials in cases of natural disasters, power outages, and/or civil unrest. These folks with this mindset in the modern age have become known as “preppers.” Now granted, there are varied levels of extremes within this group, however, what used to be scoffed at now has become a pretty good idea. They have brought back to the surface and reformulated what our grand parents and great grand parents would call good ol’ common sense!
Jesus preached about the importance of being prepared. In the parable of the ten virgins (found in Matthew 25:1-13), Jesus shows that His return will be like these virgins waiting for the bridegroom. He contrasts those that are prepared as prudent and those that are not as foolish. The prudent, or wise, took along with them their lamp and some extra oil for replenishment. The foolish took their lamps but no reserve of oil. Now the scene, as you can imagine, during a week long wedding celebration has within it joy, excitement, and expectation of the bridal party. The culmination will be the bridegroom coming to take his bride away with him. Sadly, because of the delay of the groom’s arrival, those in the bridal party resort back to the natural and excitement deteriorates as they fall asleep. They knew he was coming but not the exact moment.
It reminds me of the PRCA Rodeo Clown legend Quail Dobbs. The audience had seen him multiple times throughout their lives and knew some of the routines. One in particular was the old jalopy he would drive into the rodeo arena between events. It was loud, spitting and sputtering, smokin and a poppin wheelies. He would drive it to the middle and get out and turn it off. It would continue to spit, sputter, and whistle as the motor wound down, sounding like a bomber dropping bombs in the movies. Then as the whistle got louder and louder…and you knew it was coming but not exactly the moment…then…BOOM! An explosion would rock the stands and the crowd would all jump out of their seats.
With that same surprise the groom comes to collect his bride. They knew he was coming but not the precise moment. So on the announcement of his arrival all of them got up, grabbed their lamps, trimmed the wicks…and that’s when it struck the foolish. They remembered they had not brought any extra oil! In desperation they asked the wise for some. The wise had only enough for themselves. They make the suggestion for the foolish to go buy some more. So the wise go off with the groom and the foolish in a desperate search for oil. The wise went in to the wedding festivities and the foolish were locked out. Later, the foolish return knocking at the door but they weren’t with the procession so they can’t enter. The foolish were caught unprepared. All ten virgins gathered there had lamps with them. However, the wise were the ones that made it inside.
Folks, there are people in churches all over our communities, nation, and world that think they are prepared for the Lord’s return. Sadly, some will be foolish ones and because of their foolishness they will be desperate to enter into the wedding festivities.
There is hope found through faith in Him, Jesus Christ! First, have you submitted your life to Him as your Lord? The disciples called Him Master. Is He yours? Second, serve Him in all you do. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do work heartily as for the Lord not for man,…” Thirdly, live in expectation of His return. He’s coming back.
If there is anything that 2020 taught us and we see prudence in carrying into 2021 is the fact of being prepared for the Lord’s return. When? I don’t know exactly when, but just like in our part of the country… we’re one day closer to the next rain. He’s coming folks… do you have your lamp and do you have extra oil? If needed you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!
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