Our lives are consumed with deadly distractions. And the word “deadly” is not used flippantly or carelessly but chosen with great care.
You won’t understand what I mean by this until you read what Jesus said in Luke 12:35-48. I’m reading from the English Standard Version.
Verse 35 says, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning…” In the context of the rest of the passage through verse 40, Jesus is referring to a typical and traditional Jewish wedding feast of His days. Then, it seems, a rich man’s household servants were expected to follow certain protocols, such as what he expected them to do when he returned from the wedding feast.
One of these protocols was that the master expected his servants to be waiting for him to open the door when he returned from the wedding feast where he had been in attendance. Since this feast was held during the nighttime, it would be dark when the master returned.
Electricity had not yet been discovered, so the master would be returning to a dark home. It was the duty of the servants to not only have lamps burning for the master’s safe entrance into his own property, but that these servants would immediately open the door when the master knocked.
This is where the “deadly distractions” come into play for us modern Americans. Our days are so consumed by distractions that virtually none of use would be ready, metaphorically speaking, if our master (the Lord Jesus), returned this very evening.
Perhaps the biggest modern distraction is our smart phones, tablets and computers. It seems we are constantly using one of these three devices. In fact, they have become, for many people, necessary to get through our days. Without them, we would be lost, unable to function in a society that is becoming increasingly dependent upon being connected to the “internet of things.”
And as the importance of these mobile devices rises in our lives, the deadlier they become: they distract us from the most critical aspect of our existence: being ready to have lamps burning when the Master returns and opening the door the instant He knocks.
Does anyone even think along such lines? When was the last time you discussed whether or not you, your family members, or any of your friends were “waiting” for the Master to return? It is not part of the daily fabric or reality of our lives, in the same way we don’t think about feeding and watering our horses so that they will be fit and ready for us to ride tomorrow to work or school.
In the same way that technology made the riding and caring of horses obsolete and irrelevant to functioning in modern society, the rise of the digital age is making increasingly connected individuals seemingly immune to the second return of the Lord Jesus. At the very least, this constant connectivity distracts us from thinking about it.
Allow me to ask the question a second time: are you ready? Is the daily, permanent mindset of your existence focused on being “ready” for your Master upon His return? Do you have your “lamps burning” so that not only you will be able to see in the dark, but can provide “light” for the Master to safely enter His own domain?
Is your state of preparedness so fine tuned and planned out that the instant you hear the knock of your Master, your hand is unlocking the door and He can enter without waiting for you to fumble around in the dark in search of the key or a lamp to lighten the premises?
Jesus said, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes (37).”
What is the opposite of being “blessed”? If one is “blessed” for being ready, what is that person’s condition if he or she is not ready? It’s obvious: they are not blessed (see verses 45-48). Worse, they may even be cursed. Whatever the ultimate ramifications are for not being ready, it will not be a pleasant condition to find oneself in.
I want to urge you to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5)
Perhaps one way to determine whether or not your are truly a child of God—whether you are one of His children or not—is the state of your readiness for His return. If you can honestly evaluate yourself on this point, if you fail the test, no doubt one of the reasons will be is because you are consumed with “deadly distractions.”