A pretty stock standard lunch for me, is microwaveable rice, a can of tuna and steamed vegetables. The whole meal takes me about 3 minutes. I have deliberately picked this combination, because of how quick it is to prepare. I literally open the freezer to grab my vegetables, pick up tuna and rice from the cupboard….and I put it in my bag. I’ve decided that such shortcuts are necessary because I would much rather do other things with my time!
It is so foreign to me, to think about how our ancestors would have had to spend hours preparing and cooking! I can’t even begin to imagine it. They wouldn’t have necessarily been able to aspire to much more than meeting daily physical needs….food, shelter, water. Whilst I can appreciate the simplicity, I agree it does seem kind of mundane…….
And new products/services are being introduced every day to further reduce the time spent on preparation! Sometimes I think we won’t be happy until we have to do absolutely no preparation at all (which I’m not condemning by the way – that’s living the dream!)
However, it does make some of the things we read about in scripture so difficult to understand. There were so many things that took time to establish….the Temple, the ark of the covenant….Even John the Baptist’s life was completely dedicated to preparation. Imagine if you’re entire calling was that of preparation for someone else??? Ok, it wasn’t just ANYBODY! It was THE saviour. But a life dedicated to someone else’s calling would be just so foreign to our generation. And there are so many more layers of preparation going on in God’s calendar…..
I love the passage in John 14:2-4 where Jesus tells the disciples that He is leaving them, to prepare a place. He says:
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Yes! God is alive, active and intimately involved with His creation.….but since Jesus ascended to heaven, He has also been busy preparing a place for us. How awesome is that?! He so anticipates our arrival, that He diligently prepares a place for us. And this has been going on for thousands of years! Jesus doesn’t do the last minute tidy up before someone arrives……..He has been labouring over our future home. It’s such a humbling thought. Preparation may be annoying in a general sense, but it does demonstrate its value. Like a guitarist who prepares their gear, and carefully sets up their pedals. Or an artist who spends hours sweating over their artwork. Or the chef (who is absolutely cringing at my pathetic excuse for a lunch) who spends hours preparing a delicacy.
What am I willing to labour over? For what do I diligently dedicate my time, attention and focus? We all have the same amount of time as the musician, artist and chef. And something is definitely sapping up my time because I don’t really seem to have much of it!
What about my saviour who I value so much? How am I preparing for Him? What am I doing to prepare my heart for an eternity with Him? Because I truly want to be ready for the day I finally meet Him.
So I guess preparation isn’t all bad! I mean I’m still going to eat my rice, tuna and vegetables. But it certainly makes me appreciate that there is beauty in preparation when it is infused with love and dedication.