The Vicarage is cold today, and I’ve promised my wife an open fire this afternoon. That means chopping up some wood from the store, which I built a few years ago to keep it dry. Wet wood is not great for open fire – difficult to light and gets smokey and smelly. The best wood has been dried and seasoned, prepared for just when it’s needed.
Paul wrote to his younger colleague, Timothy, that he should be ready to preach God’s word ‘in season and out of season.’ (2 Timothy 4:2) He was to be prepared to be used by God, ready for his service whenever the time was needed. It’s a good model for all of us.
Oliver Cromwell is reported to have told his troops, “Trust in God and keep your powder dry.” Simply put, he meant his men to be ready to do their duty when they were needed – to be prepared.
Preparation is key to anything we want to do well. I dislike doing anything – especially public – without preparing as well as I can. There are opportunities every day to bless, to serve, to love. We need to be prepared for them. We can be prepared to love and serve God and our neighbour. How? I think one way is to make sure we’re reading our Bibles every day, and praying every day for an opportunity to serve him. We don’t have to spend hours. Just five minutes.
If we’re pushed for time, maybe each morning whilst we’re waiting for the kettle, or on the train to work. Doesn’t sound much, but it’s five minutes better than nothing. And who knows where that will lead you.
Be prepared, in season and out.
Question for reflection: How do you prepare to love God and serve others each day?