At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4he wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ” ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!'”But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25: 1-13 (NIV)
Glen and I were blessed with the gift of a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean. The trip took us to several exciting ports where we enjoyed some very interesting shore excursions, but the boat itself was so large that there was really no need to even leave the ship. Like a floating city, the whole interior mimicked a street scene. Extending several stories high, it almost felt like you were walking through a large city among skyscrapers. Along the promenade were shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainers. Casinos, movie theaters, an ice rink, a spa, fitness center, stage halls, pools, a putter golf, rock climbing wall, basketball and tennis courts, roller blade and running tracks were scattered all over the ship. Our cabin had a nice balcony with two comfortable chairs. From it, there was always something to see. Other ships, birds, smaller boats, islands, clouds, sunrise or sunset, people bustling back and forth on the islands, airplanes, fellow passengers or just the ship’s crew doing routine maintenance on the boat. There was a television in our cabin with several channels and one, where you could see a view from the front deck twenty-four hours a day. Wherever we went, people asked us if we wanted a drink or something to eat. By the end of the week, I was so full that I could not even bring my fork to my mouth to eat another bite. We were utterly satiated, pampered and lacking nothing. Yet, despite all the excitement surrounding us and all the opportunities available to us, almost every afternoon, we lay down and took a nice long nap. At first, I felt really guilty about it. I am not one to waste a moment when we are on vacation. I like to go, see and do. But somehow, perhaps it was the massive amounts of food we consumed, the rocking of the ship or the seasickness medicine I took, every afternoon my body said, “Naptime!” I could not keep my eyes open, curled up under the sheets and obediently gave in to sleep. No matter that they were playing bingo in the main hall or that the sun was shining and I could get a great tan. The steel drum band played on by the pool without me, and I never climbed the rock wall. I didn’t go shopping in any exotic ports, or work out in the fitness center. I saw the backs of my eyelids as I snoozed the entire afternoon. I slept much of my vacation away. I wonder if I am doing the same thing with my life. Someday, Jesus is going to come again. When He does, will I be found sleeping? Or will I be out glorifying Him and telling others about Him? Are my eyes closed to opportunities to do so or am I alert and ready for His return? A vacation is one thing to waste, but don’t sleep through life. Keep your eyes open. He could come any moment.