In my previous post I wrote about the ten virgins. I have been thinking about this parable today and after my bible study this morning I have a few additional thought that were opened to me that I wanted to share with you.
We were asked to look at the similarities between the two groups of people. But what was different about them. What made the wise virgins wise and what made the foolish virgins foolish?
The wise virgins had come prepared to the banquet. They were ready with there full and trimmed lamps and they even had a back up stash of oil in case of an emergency. Who can we compare them to in the world today? I think if I m honest then some days I am very much like the wise virgin but then other day I am sadly like the foolish virgin as well. I know the importance of daily doses of the word and prayer and over all I try to be diligent. However being human I fail quite frequently as well. My goal is to be more like the wise virgins and less like the foolish ones.
The foolish virgins had no stash of oil, there was no plan B. When that midnight cry came the foolish virgins began to scramble and panic. It was time and they realized that they were not ready. The tried to borrow some oil from the wise virgins and were told in very firm words NO! If we give you our oil then we may not have enough for ourselves. Go and buy some oil for yourselves. On the surface this may seem a bit harsh, but if we translate this into practical application what this means for me in my life is that I can not borrow someone else’s faith. I can not fill my life up with the storehouse of faith from someone else’s life. I must invest my own study time, prayer time, worship time, service time and that will fill up my lamp.
My daughter is a blossoming chef and from time to time she will come to me and ask if she can cook dinner or she will want to make desert. My usual response is in the affirmative, however I will caution her to not get ahead of herself. The very first thing she must do it to make sure that she has all the necessary ingredients before she starts cracking her eggs. She has learned from experience not to get her hopes up for chocolate chips cookies until she actually checks the pantry to see if we have all the ingredients. Now you can’t really compare running out of semi sweet chocolate chips and the spot that the foolish virgins were in, but you see where the similarities lie. I can in a pinch run next door and borrow a cup of sugar but sadly this will not be the case when I find myself in a spiritual crisis. When life gets hard and things turn dark and scary, and the reality is that we never know when something bad is going to happen, I want my lamp trimmed and ready. I want my pantry/lamp to be full by my own accord. The hard cold fact is there are no shortcuts to a full lamp. I must commit to a life of prayer, study, and service and when I do that it will assure that I will be ready when the hard times come.
The next observation that was pointed out to me is that because of there lack of preparation the foolish virgins had to rush to make alternate arrangements. They had to make the proverbial trip to the Wal Mart at the last minute for a bottle of lamp oil. It has been my experience that a last minute fix is rarely permanent. If it is thrown together quickly and in a rush it usually will fall apart just as quickly. Sadly when they returned with their oil and trimmed their lamps they found the doors closed. They had missed the invitation. The ran to the door and banged and banged only to be told that it was too late. There they stood with the receipt for the oil in their hands and the oil in their lamps burning brightly and it was too late. There was nothing they could do but return home and weep. Their quick fix had failed.
A quick fix is good at the end of a long day and you need to get a meal on the table, a can of cream of mushroom soup and two cups of minute rice is a woman’s best friend in my book. A quick fix is good when you look down as you are walking out the door to see your hem dragging and you apply a quick piece of duct tape or a safety pin (confession time ladies I have even resulted to the stapler if I was in a real hurry, but I know that my secret will be safe with all of you).
When cancer comes to visit a quick fix will not do. When your rebellious child breaks your heart a quick fix will not get you through the night.
The eternal fix, the eternal filling up, the eternal strength and love of Christ is what I want for my life and the eternal fix is what God want for your life as well.