Suppose you are visiting someone and notice a picture that’s hanging crooked. Do you straighten it? Do you look away and pretend nothing is crooked? Some people will walk up to it and tilt their head to match the picture’s tilt. The crooked picture scenario is used by many people to identify who is the fixer, the tolerant, or the adaptable. Which one are you? For me it depends on how badly tilted it is or if there is something else going on that supercedes the importance of incorrect images.
Priorities. Urgency. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. I’m not going to waste valuable time straightening pictures in a burning house.
In Jesus’ day, the process of getting married started with the groom’s father . Please read that beautiful link and see how it typifies Jesus as the groom and His church, we, the currently saved and constantly watching, as His bride. Notice the part where the groom is finished building the room onto his father’s house (In my house are many mansions, more accurately translated “rooms” in John 14:2) and surprises the bride. She drops what she’s doing to go with him to the marriage celebration. No “wait a minute.” No “come back tomorrow.” No “you could have called first, you know!” No straightening pictures she’s leaving behind. She’s ready at a moment’s notice and doesn’t look back.
We are instructed to watch and wait as well as “occupy” until He comes again for us. And it will be a huge surprise. The Father has to declare the rooms ready. The Father decides. Jesus Himself doesn’t know the day or the hour. And then suddenly……..!…..the wedding trumpet sounds and we are snatched from our world and catapulted into His presence! Those of us who are keeping one eye open for His return, watching the signals He laid out in the contract, as we enjoy our blessings here.
Let’s review. We accept His offer of salvation. We are His at that point. The only thing that can separate us is a bill of divorcement and He promised He would not be the one to do that. But we can. We can fall away from neglect leaving ourselves open to enemy attacks, forget Him and become entangled in our own ways, consciously decide to tell Him to leave us alone, or we can willfully disobey repeatedly until our hearts gradually grow cold and distant before we know it.
The house is burning. It’s the kind hidden in the walls getting worse and worse with each step away from Jesus’ teachings. We justify, we excuse, we analyze, rationalize. We keep adjusting the crooked pictures, trying to figure out who to blame for their skewed state, ignoring the fire.
The stage is set. The signs are more glaring than ever before. The time is now. And we’ve been saying and hearing this for over 2000 years. That means we are 2000 years closer than we were. Don’t give up the watch. Imagine the man falling from a high cliff. Until he hits ground, he believes himself to be flying.
No matter how wonderful it is here, and it is, the future with Jesus is better. Isn’t that the understatement of the millenium? Occupy. Use your talents and your time to complete what He’s assigned you. Revel in your blessings. The song says “Live, love, laugh, and be happy.” Be prepared to leave the pictures hanging crooked…. Without warning…. Until then,
Watchfully wait for the groom.