Focal passage: Matthew 24: 36-51
When I was in basic training many years ago at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, I had the privilege of being the dorm chief of my flight. I was excited because it was an honor to be responsible for the fifty men in my group when the drill instructor was gone.
At the time I was chosen, I did not know it would require so much. One of my duties was to pull the last shift of guard duty from about 3 a.m. until 5 a.m. My responsibility was to make sure that no unauthorized personnel entered our dormitory. At no time during my shift could I sleep.
In fact, the drill instructors would plan surprise attacks and think of creative ways to distract me. They would often send other drill instructors from different flights to our dormitory to try to trick me in letting them in the building.
When I would refuse they would have a few choice words and threaten to inflict much pain on my life. Overtime, I realized the key to success was to be alert and never get distracted.
When I think about our focal passage in Matthew 24:36-51, I reflect back on my basic training experience as a dorm guard. Jesus told the disciples to always be on the alert for his return.
In essence, Jesus was preparing the disciples for His death by pointing to His return. He reminded them not to get distracted, but continually look for His return, especially, since no one but the Father knows when that will take place.
In a similar way, just as I always had to be prepared in basic training, we must always be prepared for the return of Christ.
At the end of my basic training experience the drill instructor pulled me aside and complemented me on a job well done. I appreciated his words, but what I am hoping for more is that when Jesus returns he will find me ready to go and he will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” How about you?