We Never Know...Really

Today’s reading from Mark 13 ends, “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'” (Mark 13:35-37). Jesus contrasts the destruction of Jerusalem-- for which there would be signs-- with the end of the world-- which would have no warning signs. (See here for further discussion). The only way that we can be ready for the end of time is to live ready all the time.

There were a couple of sad remembers yesterday of just how true and important is Jesus’ reminder to “Watch.” Stories like this are both impossible (what are the chances) and too common (we read about them all the time).

  • A 59 year-old man was driving down the interstate when a 3-foot diameter disk flew through his windshield and killed him. Authorities aren’t sure what this disk was, but there are tire marks that indicate that it was one the highway when hit by another car and thrown into the air. What are the chances?

  • A 39 year-old man was jogging on the beach in Hilton Head, SC enjoying the view and listening to his iPod when a single engine plane crash landed on the beach and struck and killed him. He was doing what you are supposed to so—getting some exercise. He wasn’t running on a busy street but a deserted beach. What are the chances that a plane will just fall out of the sky and kill you?

Our hold on this life is always tenuous at best. We think we have plenty of time because we’ve always have had plenty of time. But one day time will run out—on us and on our world. We may have years or we may have minutes. If we want to be ready at the end, then we need to be ready all the time.