The Foolish and the Wise

November 8th, 2011 Posted in writing

“Once upon a time, ten young women were invited to greet a bridegroom with lighted torches and songs, so they got their torches and oil and began to wait.” If that story sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve heard it as the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.

The parable makes the point that we don’t know when Jesus the Bridegroom will come, so we have to make sure we are prepared for his arrival to take longer than we thought. The foolish women knew when the bridegroom was scheduled to arrive and thought that was enough. But the wise ones knew that schedules don’t always hold, so they were ready to wait and brought enough oil for their torches so that they wouldn’t run out.

Don’t a lot of us set up God’s schedule for him when it comes to our desires? I do, anyway. I tell God not only what I want but when I want it. And when things don’t happen when I want them and God doesn’t act according to my timetable, I get impatient and upset. Does that sound like you, too?

The fact is, God and his grace will come when it’s the right time, and the right time is whenever God decides. Of course we’re told to pray with expectant faith, but waiting for God and his grace isn’t like taking clothes to the dry cleaners. There’s no sign saying, One day service. Jesus’ story reminds us to be patient and be prepared to wait. It’s the wise thing to do.

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