On Being Ready
This past week I observed something which I’d seen before, but for some reason this time it really hit home to me. There was a lady walking on the sidewalk. She was walking her dog. So far, so good. But she had in ear buds which were connected with her mobile phone because she was talking as she walked. I was standing on our porch, but she walked by without so much as a glance, absorbed in her own little world. She seemed oblivious to what was around her.
Walking like this is dangerous when one considers tripping hazards, traffic when crossing streets, etc. I’ve seen people walking in the street in the same way! But this is not about the dangers. Another thing which this kind of action inhibits is awareness. Would this lady have been aware of anybody around her who was in need of help? Somebody who had fallen on their steps? A small child just wandering in the street? A cry for help?
In a more general sense, we as Christians can be like this lady. We can be unaware of what’s happening around us. Now, you ask, how is that possible? It’s possible in at least two ways.
First, we get so absorbed in our own affairs that we don’t notice what’s happening with other people. We are so focused on our own problems and needs that we just don’t consider what’s going on with somebody else. We can even do this while engaged in something so simple as shopping. So engrossed in completing our “to do” list, we fail to engage with those around us. We don’t “hear” what the store associate is saying. Or if we do, we just don’t want to take time to have any kind of conversation.
In the second place, we have not prepared ourselves to be ready to engage people and interact in various situations. Paul wrote to Titus that he was to instruct the members of the church “to be ready for every good deed.” This could be as simple as setting aside a special “fund” to use when someone asks you for help. Or it could be that you pray for a heart to be more helpful. Or it could be that you need to learn how to be a better servant of the Lord and those around you.
Don’t be absorbed in your own self. Be ready.