We left last night at a rather odd time–1:00 a.m. It wasn’t a planned outing, per se, and was consequently done in a bit of haste.

[I’m on “kid duty” for my sister, who is due to deliver her 3rd at any moment. What a privilege–to bring the older two to the hospital to meet the new important person and impacting force in their lives! Their little minds cannot even begin to understand how deeply the coming of this new infant will effect them forever. Family is the coolest idea! But this post isn’t really about any of this. And, by the way, there is still no baby. It’s the old stop-and-start routine that my poor sister experienced with #1. Pray for her!]

Anyway, a late phone call, a flurry of excitement, a few quickly packed bags, and we were out of here. I then spent all of today with two of the cutest little guys I could ever hope to know, and after dinner, games, and clean-up, finally came back home.

Home sweet home, just the way I left it.

It looked like I’d suddenly gotten a phone call and high-tailed it out to the car. In my dream world, even in the most surprising of emergencies, my home would be left in a better state of order.

I’d like “just the way I left it” to improve a bit.

And that, my friends, is the topic of this post.

As I prepared for bed and put a few things back that had been left rather randomly out of place, I suddenly felt challenged: Jesus is going to show up at some point. Just appear. Just, ta-da, arrive, and that’s it. We’ll high-tail it on outta here, in whatever state He happens to find us. Am I ready? Do I live if a life that’s ready?

I pondered that for a moment and realized it would probably be good to evaluate my life again with that in view. Hoping to glean some more conviction/enlightenment from my physical surroundings, I began to take note of what sort of things need to improve in order for my apartment to be more in order. And this is what I saw:

Nothing big. No huge overhauls. (A little one, though. I’ll see to that in the morning!) Nothing notable, really; just little things. But all of those little things added up to one big thing, I realized. I need to be more observant and more of a “doer” all day long. If I had noticed and done something about every little out-of-place thing, my home would have been left in a better state of order. If each moment, I was determined to make the area I was in conform to the Kingdom, to the best of my ability, there would be no little things to add up to a big thing.

Translate: Are there huge things to overhaul in my life in order to be a wise virgin with plenty of oil? Maybe. But maybe not. More than likely, the preparation I need to invest has much more to do with my diligence moment to moment. How am I thinking about circumstances and people? Is the gate to my mind undergoing full-time maintenance, or do I let it get run down? How is my attitude? When my tongue utters the overflow of my heart, what comes out? Do I repent quickly, or am I letting hardness settle in, here and there? Am I quick to heed the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit?

Sometimes I’d so much rather overhaul that I fail to notice the two hangers on the floor, halfway beneath the dresser. Am I like that spiritually?

So tomorrow I’ll be tidying up, and then all day long, trying to remember to notice and do the right thing. And while I’m at it, I’ll be pondering this:

If Jesus were to come and take me today, would I be happy to see a picture of my life, just the way I left it?

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