I literally laughed aloud this morning as I was driving to work. ABC radio announced the success of a breakthrough technology deployed in California that is designed to give residents advanced warning of an impending earthquake. This astonishing predictive device gave residents of Southern California a whopping 30 second warning to prepare for the quake that rattled San Luis Obispo County. Based on this jaw-dropping success, project principles are asking for $80 million of the projected $650 million anticipated to complete the 30 second warning system.
It doesn’t seem to me that 30 seconds is ample time to do much of value, though seismologists argue that trains could slow down, and factory workers could move away from hazardous materials, and that’s assuming the warning could be communicted instantaneously, thus allowing for the 30 seconds of prep time. The level of excitement generated by this successful test strikes me as overblown. If the warning were 30 to 60 minutes, that would be impressive.
As I listened to this radio report, my mind moved to the return of Jesus, and how that will occur like a thief in the night. The thief doesn’t phone ahead and warn us of his intrusion. He quietly sneaks in, does his work, and leaves. The home owner doesn’t even know what has occurred until the next morning when the home’s valuables turn up missing.
I’m not fond of fear tactics, coercion, or manipulation. We see so much of that in politics these days, and it irritates me. But Jesus himself taught us to be prepared. He spoke of the virgins waiting for the bridegroom with their oil lamps filled and their wicks trimmed in contrast to those who had no oil and were thus caught off-guard when the bridegroom returned. I don’t believe Jesus was trying to use a fear-tactic, but rather to inspire us to be ready for his return. We don’t need a 30 second early detection system, because we are prepared at all times. Our lamps are filled with oil, and our wicks are trimmed. The sky is not falling, at least not at the moment, and if it ever does fall, it is of no consequence to us. We are ready.
Victoriously in Christ!