“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not
know the day or hour of my return.”
– Matthew 25:13
Wise coaches know that successful teams are built long before the scoreboard lights come on. For today’s athletes, there is no off-season. The new season begins when the final whistle blows to end the previous season. As the uniforms and equipment are being put away, coaches set their sights on the next phase of the year-long process of team building. Weight training, cardiovascular training, flexibility training, and resistance training are all part of the schedule for athletes that want to keep improving. Team camps, position camps, and combines give athletes opportunities to compete far from the glamour and excitement of the regular season. Great athletes and great teams are built with a willingness to prepare long before the tickets are purchased and the stands are filled.
Jesus, the Master Coach, knew the value of preparation. In the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13), Jesus reminds us that getting ready and staying ready is an individual responsibility. Five of the bridesmaids attending the wedding were foolish and failed to bring enough oil for their lamps. The other five bridesmaids were wise and brought extra oil. When the bridegroom failed to arrive on time, the bridesmaids all fell asleep. They were awakened with shouts that the bridegroom was coming. However, the five foolish bridesmaids were running out of oil and had to go to the shop and buy more. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived, and the door to the marriage feast was locked, leaving them outside. Jesus is reminding us that He is coming back, we just don’t know when. Will we be prepared or will we miss out because we aren’t ready?
Heavenly Father, help me to keep my mind sharp and my body prepared for all that is required of me today. Amen.