If you are a Southerner you know that if the weather man is calling for any kind of winter storm that it is your duty to rush to the store and buy as much bread and milk as humanly possible. It doesn’t matter if he’s predicting just a dusting of snow or a foot of snow; you must go immediately to the nearest grocery store to load up on milk and bread. If you are not from the South perhaps it is done differently where you live, but this is the code of Southerners in the winter. It doesn’t matter that we know how silly it is, we still feel the need to do it. Maybe it’s a trait we are born with, I’m not sure. I just know that if you go too late that you will be left without any bread or milk… and what will you do then?
The ridiculousness of rushing to the grocery store at the mere mention of snow makes me think of those Christians who were bunkering down for the apocalypse to occur on December 21, 2012. You would think that as Christians we would know and believe Christ when he says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew 24:36. Christ himself assures us that no one can predict the end of the world. Why would we think that the Mayans, a scientist, a psychic, or a preacher could ever predict when our world will end?
Throughout history there have been many who have tried to predict the end of the world; people from all walks of life and all faiths. Others, believing this to be true, would rush to make their lives ready to endure the end. The problem with this is that the next morning they would wake up to disappointment (or perhaps joy that the world didn’t end) and would wonder how they could have believed and trusted in the person who made the prediction. Still, the next time someone predicted the world would end they worried and fretted and wondered if it could be true. Why do Christians put themselves through this? Christ was very clear in his words… NO ONE will know when the world will end. We can try to predict it, we can guess, we can use math and science, we can even use the Bible to try to find a hidden code as to when the Lord will be coming back, but we cannot know.
As Christians we shouldn’t be rushing to prepare ourselves when we think the world “might end”. We are called to be ready no matter the time or day. “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming… For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” Matthew 24:42,44 We shouldn’t be like the crazy Southerners rushing out at the mere mention of snow to grab as much bread and milk as we can, we should be preparing daily for the return of the Lord. But how do we prepare? We do this in the same manner as we prepared during Advent for the coming of Christ… through prayer, fasting, frequent reception of the Sacraments, almsgiving, penitence, patience, and continuing Christ’s work here on earth. When we focus on doing this every day we don’t have to worry about when He will return, we will be prepared already!
As this year comes to a close for us let us renew our trust in God. Let us renew our dedication to God. Let us prepare ourselves daily for His Son’s return. Don’t rush to the “store” only to find that the shelves are empty and you are not prepared. Fill the stores of your heart with Christ’s love and His goodness. Be prepared every day for His return. When we focus on doing His will each day we find that He provides us with all that will be necessary to weather the approaching storm.