We all poured out of the dark room gasping and nearly exhausted. “What happened?!” my brother asked. “You guys were in there for only like 10 seconds!” Once upon a time, when I turned 21, my friends went to a laser tag venue to celebrate my birthday. Although my brother drove, he wasn’t personally invested in going inside the laser tag course. “I’ll wait out here.” The rest of us suited up and donned light up vests and awkward backpack type apparatuses. We divided into teams and were given our objectives. We had to run, duck and dodge, with heavy equipment, while avoiding our “enemies’” attacks. All in all, our adventure only lasted a few minutes. But the intricacies of our daunting combat and physical exertion made us feel like we were in there for ages during the “battle.” My brother, on the other hand, experienced his time outside as just a few short minutes.
One of the things I am becoming more and more convinced about is that life is made for living at its fullest -acknowledging the presence of the Creator and serving Him. In Adventist circles and indeed in other Christian circles, one constantly hears that Jesus is coming soon, but realistically speaking, how soon is soon- is it in five years, fifteen or perhaps one hundred years away? The words of Jesus ring in my ears- Occupy till I come.
Time will surely wear us out but it will never wear God out. If our focus is on doing what God wants us to do and we die endeavouring to fulfill this objective, it doesn’t really matter when Jesus comes- we know that we will have everlasting life. This is why time spend in service to God- or serving humanity is so crucial. Service gives point and meaning to one’s existence.
The amount of heart wrenching pain and suffering in this world is beyond human estimation, only God can truly end that when he chooses to come. The pain and suffering in the world may very well echo demands for justice, not necessarily a desire for God return to the earth a second time… The two are not necessarily the same. Sometimes people lump a desire for human justice, and an end to human and social deprivation etc with the return of Jesus, but Im not sure if that is specifically what every person wants… My desire for justice for example might not be necessarily related to ***God’s return to the earth. I may desire human justice now, but would wish to fulfill all of my desires here on this earth first, acquiring a home, a stable marriage, family, career, retirement, death and afterwards the return of Jesus.
I remembered coming across a photo of a large bull in a book a few years ago. At the bottom of the page I remembered seeing these words- ready for service/ ready for death. The way the bull was pictured on the page was striking but the message was clear and to countless others who saw it: The bull was ready to pull the yoke independently or as member of a team. It was also ready to be offered as a sacrifice, or perhaps killed so that its flesh could be taken and sold in the market etc. Either way the bull was ready.
Then it struck me- Am I ready , like that bull pictured on the page?
Am I ready to serve God, or humanity or am I ready for death glorifying God in the process?
However long it takes for Jesus to return, my one desire is to be with Him forever. Whether soon is indeed soon- or soon refers to some time the distant future, my desire is indeed to occupy until Jesus comes.