Today I’m writing for Five Minute Friday, where we write flat out for five minutes, unedited, on a one-word prompt. Join the fun with your own post or just read what others have done with their 300 seconds. Check it out at http://katemotaung.com Today’s word is Ready.
Eight days, eight hours, seventeen minutes, and six seconds. That’s when my sister and I take off from Chicago O’Hare International Airport for our Grand Adventure – 18 days in Italy. One of our mom’s last wishes was that we would use some of what she left when she died and do something fun together, so this trip is in her honor and her memory.
We’ve been planning it for months. We live half a country apart, so we have spent hours and hours on the computer, messaging each other, looking up quaint little bed-and-breakfasts, reading reviews on TripAdvisor, booking and unbooking rooms – two nights here, three there, and oh my gosh we have to stay four here.
Once the flights and rooms were booked, we turned our attention to what we wanted to do while we were there. My sister is the consummate planner and doesn’t like to leave anything to chance. Tickets to a Vivaldi concert in Venice – check. An opera in Florence, check. An all-day cooking class in Cortona, check. Etc. etc. etc. Plus plenty of built-in time for wandering, people watching, museums. Just the right balance of scheduled and unscheduled time.
We both started learning rudimentary Italian and practicing on each other, throwing ciao and ti amo at one another in all our messages. We thought it would be nice to be able to communicate with the Italians a little in their own language.
We compared packing lists. We’re only taking one carry-on bag and one carry-on tote each – no checked luggage, going over anyway. Coming back might be a whole different story. Just the essentials, the things we really need. No clutter.
Ready. We are so ready. Ready and eager and enthusiastic.
Eight days, eight hours, fifteen minutes, and forty seconds.
When I saw today’s prompt, the first thing that popped into my mind was, I am so ready for Italy! The second, right on its heels, was, am I even half as ready for Jesus? I immediately thought about the old DC Talk song, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” (For all you youngsters out there who don’t know what I’m talking about, you can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu_fm0oedGU)
Jesus, my Lord, my Savior, is going to come back sometime, maybe very soon. Or I will be called Home through death. How ready am I for that? Even in life, before that, how ready am I to serve Him and do His will here? How much planning and effort do I pour into the one who died on the cross to give me an eternal life of joy with Him instead of an eternal life of agony separated from Him?
Let’s take inventory: I spend a lot of time talking to my sister about Italy; do I spend nearly that much time talking to God? Um, no, except maybe to ask Him to give us good weather in Italy.
How about all the hours I spend reading reviews of places to go and things to do on TripAdvisor — how does my time in God’s Word stack up? Er, can we skip this one?
Okay, moving on to language. I’m learning to communicate to the Italians in their language. How much do I communicate to the world in God’s language — the language of love? The language of peace and patience and kindness? The language of salvation through Jesus Christ?
Can we skip this one too?
How much time have I spent researching things I can do for God — anywhere close to the time I’ve spent researching things to do in Rome? No, and I’ve only been planning Rome for six months. I’ve been a Christian for … well, let’s put it this way. Much, much, much longer than that.
We won’t even get into all the baggage I carry around that I don’t need. Seriously.
Eight days, eight hours, eleven minutes, thirty-seven seconds until my 18 days Italy begins. I’m ready, eager, enthusiastic.
My eternity with Jesus could begin at any second. Am I half as eager? Half as enthusiastic?
Am I half as ready?