Matthew 25:1-2 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be compared to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.”
Always “be prepared.” A motto used for more than a century by the Boy Scouts of America applies in many areas of life. When you don’t heed this apropos advice you may find yourself in some interesting quandaries that last a lifetime … including your grandchild’s baby book.
We arrived in Boston last October excited to finally see our newest granddaughter. Margaret Anna entered the world in late August, but due to prior commitments Dad and I hadn’t been able to make the trip until two months later. We awoke at the ungodly hour of 3 AM to report to the Columbus airport on time to traverse the check-in lines and board our flight.
Upon our arrival in the Boston area, we were excited, but fully exhausted. We retired early that evening, planning to walk to a nearby café for breakfast the next morning. I awoke feeling lazy and made the conscious decision to forego my usual morning rituals of personal hygiene. “Who cares what I look like? We are with family,” I reasoned to myself. So I threw my hair into a messy ponytail, left the makeup bag undisturbed, and joined the group for our morning rendezvous at the donut shop.
I was thrilled with the opportunity to carry sweet Margie Anna and waited as John-Keith secured her to my person with the swaddling wrap. She was so cuddly and cute that someone snapped a picture of us before leaving.
I never thought about it again until a few weeks ago when I was admiring my daughter-in-law’s beautiful baby book. Page after page of creative photos and annotations documented Margie Anna’s first six months and proved to be an incredible lifetime treasure. Then I turned the next page and saw the picture. My messy ponytail and au natural face stared back at me as big as life. Who knew when I made my conscious decision to forego my usual prinking that the memory would be preserved for all posterity to see? If only I had adhered to the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared!”
Jesus told a story about some bridesmaids who also found themselves unprepared. These girls were part of a bridal party waiting for the arrival of the groom. Each carried a lamp to light his way. Around midnight these five girls realized they were almost out of oil and asked to borrow some from the others, but there wasn’t enough to go around. So these foolish bridesmaids went to try to buy some more. While they were shopping the bridegroom came. The prepared bridesmaids accompanied the crowd into the celebration, but the unprepared returned too late. They never even got into the pictures because they missed the party altogether.
Jesus told this parable to demonstrate the need to be ready for Christ’s return. Just as the bridesmaids didn’t know the exact hour of the groom’s arrival, neither do we know the time of Christ’s return. We must be prepared and ready in our relationship with God or we will be left behind.
“Be prepared!” This motto has served the Boy Scouts of America well. And it is a maxim we all should live by. If you do, you won’t have to worry about missing the party, being left behind at Christ’s return, or having the perfect baby book photograph to last for a lifetime.