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how ready is ready
by collette mcfarland 
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How ready is ready?

Here it goes again, I said to myself. Iím not going to let myself go into a tailspin this time; emotional roller coasters make me feel awful. I looked at the calendar as though I didnít already know what it said. September 2008. I counted years off on my fingers, again something I do quite regularly. The end of the world has either been eight or two years overdue; Iím not much of a chronologist; is that a word? It seems God was 30 years late rescuing Israel from Egypt but I think he was on time for his birthday since itís stated he arrived in the fullness of time. But the end of the world. Following the prophesies it seems like heís way over due for the closing act. All this speculating makes me nervous. He shouldnít have given us so much information to read in his word!!! If he doesnít show up soon it looks like he was lying, if he does show up soon my life style will change forever. I hate change. Iím not sure Iím a big fan of surprises either.

In the earlier 1990ís I remember getting hit really hard with this scare. When troops from all over the globe met outside of Iraq to fight over oil or whatever men fight over I just knew it was time to go, and I didnít feel totally ready. I had to face facts, it was the Middle East and the fight was over land and oil, I think. Politics always confuse me because there is usually some other hidden agenda. All I know is I almost quit work to stay home and get prepared. That was eighteen years ago. The last eighteen years have almost been business as usual. Sunday school classes, prayer meetings, church attendance, volunteer work. Surely Iíve had time to get ready!

Then in 2001 some towers in Manhattan got hit by planes. I was working that morning and I wanted to go home really bad. Things like national calamities send shivers up my spine. Imagine that. I work in surgery so packing up my things and walking out would have been patient abandonment. At the time I thought I would have bigger worries than that. All free personal were in the lounge watching the constant, live televising of thousands of people dying, including hundreds of brave firemen ascending stairwells to rescue trapped victims. Those in the operating room with me had me turn the radio on. We listened as we worked, making speculations as to the causes of three planes crashing on the same day, into major structures. I was sure I knew the answer. One of those in the operating field had me make some phone calls to look for her sister, who was guess where? In Manhattan on vacation. Thank heavens I could tell Glenda her sister was okay. Or was she. Did we have some bigger worries? Again I donít know why I was worried. I should have been ecstatic, he was coming home! But I didnít feel ready. I had slipped into complacency, concerned about worldly things. Change isnít my biggest forte. I like consistency. Thatís why Iíve never changed jobs though Iíve seen many employees come and go. Something about the unknown jiggles me up, rotates me around and sets me down upside down. It other words, it disorients me!

Okay we got through the Twin Towers saga with some scars, rising victoriously over our foes. Even though the newscasters thought we wanted every salacious detail of the skirmish poured into
our living rooms every minute of the day causing many to suffer post traumatic stress syndrome that werenít anywhere close to Manhattan or the battle fields of Iran, but were close to mail boxes that could contain envelopes of anthrax! I spent my time trying to psyche myself up, trying to get prepared for what knew was coming, and who I knew was coming, praying that he would let me catch hold of the tail of his mount (thatís a horse!) Of course, I spent a lot of time praying because that was seven years ago and Iím still here trying to get ready. Well, seven years of praying interrupted with tsunamis, earthquakes and contaminated food and toys. Yet life here doesnít seem bad enough to give up yet. Is there something wrong with my thinking?

Now itís September 2008 and the market has taken a plunge. Iím actually not scared. I donít know why? Itís my nature to worry about my retirement. Iím more worried about why the market has dipped, dipped, tumbled, and nosedived. I pulled out my bible and scanned Revelations 18. Wow this sounds familiar. But then so did the crash of 1929, and black Friday of the 1980ís. I went to the window and looked up. Iím safe for now according to the cloudless blue skies. But for how long? God Iím not ready, Iím not good enough, I have too much to do, I thought. But since the day I got saved I knew this was coming. Itís not a bad thing. Itís a good thing. Go on girl, keep telling that to yourself! I recounted my life. I have wasted so much time. Itís not fair. I need more time. I want to die old, or suddenly. I donít want to know when I get hit by a bus and dragged under. I feel like someone who knows the exact minute she will die (or change from terrestrial to celestial) and doesnít embrace that knowledge with joy.

I made up my mind to stay ready. This resolution has been made several times. Once in the 80ís, 90ís, and several times in this century. That is how good resolutions are. Iíve made several New Yearís resolutions, one for everyday of the year. I wish knew where that list was.
I sat down with my bible, hoping to draw some comfort from it whenÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ

Man I feel great! What is this feeling? Why is my back not hurting? Or my knees? Where is my bible? I had it just a minute ago. Where is my chair? Wait a minute! Where are the walls to my room? Where is theÖ.ground! I looked down at my feet, the chipped nail polish was gone, and so was the earth! I was spinning, spiraling upward in a giant mist. No. This isnít a mist. This is a cloud of peopleÖbodiesÖsouls! All wore surprised expressions. All were young, even those I recognized as old timers. All were wearing white robes. Some were holding hands. Some were scanning the area for others. I looked about for my father, please! Oh, wonderful, I see him up ahead, all crippling disfigurements and oxygen supplementation gone; I almost didnít make him out. There were my kids Iíd spent years praying for also. Weíre all ascending upwards faster than the speed of light, ascending faster than the speed of light to a light, an enormous ball of light. No. A ball of white. An army of white horses. At the head of the army was the Commander on a perfect white steed. He passed within inches of me and I grabbed for the horseís tail hoping to catch a secure ride, (fleetingly forgetting it was in the opposite direction!) briefly remembering my unworthiness. As I clung to the tail with all my soul, whizzing past the souls going upward, the commander who wore the title King of Kings and Lord of Lords on a very expensive breast plate,(he certainly wasnít affected by the recent fall of the stock market) twisted in his saddle to confront me.

His eyes pierced my soul,(that was all that was left of the former me, my old carnal body was..where?). His lips curved up in a smile. He wasnít angry with me for hitching a ride! Thank heavens! Then he spoke, his words were soft and sincere.

ďYou can let go now, you have been assured a place in my kingdom since they day you believed. Your service has been well appreciated over the years but your moment of trust in me was your pivotal point.Ē I gasped. All those years of worry, of feeling unworthy wiped away. My hands released their tight grasp of the poor horseís tail who snorted with relief, and I automatically zoomed back upward while the army, the host of heaven, passed me on their way to complete written history, (written in the chapters of the book of Revelations!)

At the entrance of some enormous unidentified expensively ornamented flying object (Star Trek beware!) I zoomed up to one of twelve of the largest pearls Iíd ever seen. The oysters that laid these needed gastric bypasses! As the crowd I was with entered into the pearl shaped openings we were escorted to various mansions. Yes mansions and we all had our own. Wow. Even I did. Me, who thought herself unworthy of such a prize! And here I was dreading change all those years! Change can be good I told myself. Better than good, it can be blessed. Settling in was going to take some time I discovered as my door bell started to ring with visitors welcoming me home.

Gen 15:13
Exo 12:40
Math 24:36-44
Eph 1:13-14
Eph 2:8-9
Gal 4:4
Revelations 18
Revelations 19
Revelation 21:9-23

Summary: watching the signs of the times can be exhausting as they pile up and time comes closer to an end. Read how this young lady fears the end as well as she embraces. Find out how her fears of unworthiness dissolve in the twinkling of an eye. Remember when it comes to the end of time speculating has no place in our thoughts.

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