As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. St Matthew 13: 5-8
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” St Mark 13: 35-37
While finishing up a project, I found myself a quiet spot in the library, plugged my headset into the computer and tried to find some soothing music videos to help me relax as I worked. Although I could see the video on the screen, I could barely hear the music. I turned both the computer and the media player volumes to the maximum level, but that made no difference. After many attempts at trying to adjust the volume, I concluded there must be a problem with the computer and settled in to do my work even though I could barely hear the music. I couldn’t figure out why other users kept staring at me and it wasn’t until the librarian politely asked me to turn the volume down that I realized I had plugged the earphone jack into the speaker microphone.
That was the moment I realized that everyone in the library had been hearing what my own ear-buds had prevented me from hearing. In that same moment, the Holy Spirit brought light to my situation and opened my eyes to valuable life lessons:
- Be careful of the connections you make. Both outlets looked the same to me, so I just went ahead and plugged my earphones in without bothering to check which outlet I was using. In St John 10:27,Jesus says that His sheep listen to His voice. In that moment, I didn’t hear what I had been listening for, because I had selected the wrong option. It is important that we know His voice, lest we fall for those “masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 12-15. Do you know for sure that you have the right connection?
- Pay attention to what is happening around you. I could not hear what everyone around me was hearing because the ear-buds were in my ears, but based on the facial expressions of those around me, I could tell that something had disturbed the atmosphere in the room. I had no idea the librarian was paying attention to me, but the other patrons did. When the disciples asked Jesus about the signs of His coming, He shared changes that would take place in the world around them and admonished them to “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man”. St Luke 21:36 Are you focused in the right direction?
- Ask for help. Reach out to those who are around you. There were people around I could have asked for help, but I chose to try and figure the problem out on my own. Some things can only be resolved when extra hands pitch in to help. Our chances of getting through life are vastly improved when we are supported, and when we in turn support others. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 Are you taking advantage of the help He has sent your way?
- Be grateful for mercy. According to the library policies, whoever disturbs the peace will be asked to leave. Thankfully, I was pardoned and given a second chance. Likewise, Christ gave us a second chance when He took our sins to the cross. The penalty for sin is death, but He has showed us mercy and offered us forgiveness. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” St John 3:16. Are you living in the full and free salvation that He has offered?
Inventory/ Introspection: Am I fully plugged in and connected to Him?
Father, I am thankful that You use simple life lessons to remind us of Your love for us and Your desire to be in relationship with us. I pray You will help us to keep our eyes and minds stayed on You so that we will not fall for counterfeit.May we always be aware of who You have placed in our path to help us on our journey, and may we never get to the point where we feel like we can manage on our own. May the love we show to each other be a testimony to others that we are all Yours.
We are thankful for mercy and for the gift of forgiveness. May we “freely give what we have freely received from Your hands”
May we always be fully plugged in and connected to You, the Source of all good things.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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