1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Do you like waiting? Do you like standing in queues, waiting to be served? Do you like staying at home, waiting in, because someone is expected to come? Do you like waiting for some special event to arrive?
Well, if you’re anything like me, you don’t. However, I came across a man the other day who does. It’s his favourite pastime. And he loves waiting so much, that if he had his way, that’s all he would ever do.
As a consequence, Darren, went to the Doctor’s surgery the other day. And what did he do there? He waited. He didn’t have an appointment. He just knew it was a good place to wait. And after an hour or so in the waiting room, he got up, said thank you to the lady at the reception, and went home.
He rang the telephone company. And he knew his call was important—he was told so on the phone—so he waited on the phone. Forty minutes later, when the call was answered, he thanked the man who answered for letting him wait, and then he put down the phone.
In the evening he went to a local restaurant. And he went to one in particular. Because he knew that from the time that he sat down until the time he was his order was taken would be about an hour. And then it would be another hour before he would see his food.
You see, Darren loved to wait. And whereas you or I might get a bit frustrated or impatient with all the waiting, Darren loved it. Indeed, he couldn’t get enough of it. Which is all well and good, because the next day he was expecting the plumber to come. And Darren knew what that meant. For the plumber was well known for not turning up, or even phoning to say he’d been delayed. And that was delightful for Darren, because Darren liked to wait.
Only the next morning, Darren didn’t wait. At half-past eight as he was waiting in bed to get up, there was a knock on the door. And there was the plumber, tools in hand, ready to get to work.
Well, if there is anything worse for Darren than someone being on time, I don’t know what it is. But the plumber came and the plumber went, and whatever job Darren had for him to do was quickly done. Which is good in one way. But what was Darren going to do next? He hadn’t planned for the plumber being on time. He’d planned his whole day as a day for waiting and waiting, hoping that the plumber wouldn’t turn up. He’d been taken by surprise. He was totally unprepared. His whole day had been wrecked, what was he going to do?
But, you know, he did find something else to do. He had some friends who could be relied upon for never being on time. It wasn’t the same as the plumber, but at least it was something he could do. So he invited them for tea at six, knowing full well they wouldn’t turn up until nine. And that made Darren very happy indeed.
Now I don’t know about you, but I think it is very rude not to be on time, not to answer the phone promptly, and to keep people waiting. And yet, our saviour Jesus Christ is doing exactly that. Indeed, it is nearly two thousand years since his followers were told that he would come again.
However, Jesus didn’t say when he was coming—he didn’t know. But he did say that he would come when we least expected it, and that we needed to be ready. He also gave us a task to do while he was away. He didn’t want us to be like Darren, idly sitting and waiting, and being taken by surprise when he suddenly returned. He wanted us to be active and prepared for any sudden visit.
And that’s the lesson we can learn from Darren. Because yes, we do need to wait for Jesus to come again. But what we shouldn’t do, is do nothing and just wait and wait and wait. Because if we do that, when he returns, we will be taken by surprise, we will have not done the task that has been given us, and we will not be ready to face him at all.
Posted: 18th August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis