We’ve had an interesting day, but it really begins Tuesday. That was my 35-week doctors’ appointment, at which the doctor discovered that my belly had grown, in a week, bigger than it should be at this point in the pregnancy. So, she scheduled us for an ultrasound, which was this afternoon. Bear in mind that a year and a half ago, at 35 weeks pregnant, I was in the hospital preparing to give birth to our 6 lb., 3 oz. daughter.
As the ultrasound tech took the baby’s measurements, she said, more than once, “Oh, big baby.” Really? I thought. I mean, people have been looking at me like I’m nuts when I tell them I have five weeks to go, even asking me if I’m sure I’ll make it one more day, but I guess I wasn’t totally prepared to hear that the baby is big. I blame the steroids in the shots they’re giving me.
Anyway, according to her measurements, the baby is 7 lbs., 6 oz. already, which may bump my due date up about two weeks.
So, let’s see, if my math is correct, five minus two is … three. Three? Like, we could have a baby in less than three weeks? But we’re so not ready! I envy those people who have everything in order and who seem to just sit around and wait for the baby to come. That’s not been our experience so far. Heck, when Isabelle was born, our apartment was undergoing electrical work that our landlord had yet to finish and we had, literally, nothing as far as baby gear goes. No car seat, no crib, no diapers, no clothes. I remember telling people, “We have five weeks” like in that span of time, the baby fairy was going to sweep through our apartment and equip us with everything we needed.
Lesson learned. This time, at least, we have gear. We have diapers. We even have a more-than-half-packed hospital bag. Still, we find ourselves with some minor redecorating, shall we say, to make room for the baby, who will sleep in our room for the time being. After hearing today’s baby update, it seems like all of a sudden we’re in high gear to get this stuff done.
All of this makes me think of getting ready for Jesus. The world was mostly unprepared for His arrival the first time; will we make the same mistake the second time around?
I think of the Parable of the Ten Virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13, and how half of them were ready and half of them weren’t. And even though the bridegroom in the story was delayed, the five who had prepared were ready anyway while the other five were caught by surprise. In the course of my everyday life, I wonder if I’ll be caught by surprise when Jesus returns or if I’ll be ready. It’s certainly no secret that He’s coming again. He talked about it often when He was on earth, as is recorded in the Gospels. So, like with pregnancy, I shouldn’t be surprised that it will happen someday.
Unlike with pregnancy, there’s no due date, though. At the end of the passage in Matthew, Jesus says, “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” How, then, should that affect how I live my life?
Anticipating the baby’s arrival, I see my daily activities through a different lens. I look around the house and see better what needs to be cleaned or moved or gotten rid of. How I spend my day also is affected. I rest when I need to, knowing that I have the trial of labor ahead. Or I prioritize baby-related activities, like washing baby clothes or packing the hospital bag, above other things I could be doing like reading or checking Facebook. (OK, so it doesn’t always look like that as I’m 100 percent guilty of being on FB when I should be doing something far more productive.)
If I view my life through the lens that Jesus is returning, and it could be any day, then my priorities should change, too. I should value what He values. I should consider how I spend my time and money. I should have an urgency about my life that reflects the need to be ready for His arrival.
Most days my life doesn’t look anything like that because it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily stuff of life that we, in some ways, have to be concerned with to make life flow from day to day. Still, I desire a more eternal perspective. Will you pray with me for that perspective? Regardless of the day or year of Christ’s return, we, Christians, need to be ready. How will you get ready?