First, I need to say, I don’t hang out in too many bars. I just needed to make that known up front. So sitting in this bar in Nashville with my wife, enjoying some live country music, was certainly an experience for me. I’ve never really been into a bar at night, and never one that didn’t serve food.
So I sat back and watched people as they came and left, some danced and some drank.
But there were two 20 something year old women in the bar who caught my attention. Cowboy hats, tank tops, and flip flops adorned their bodies. I couldn’t tell if they had been drinking or just wanted to act like it. I waited for them to request “Free Bird” from the bad but they never did. My wife and I watched as they would stand at the bar, go sit down, leave the bar for another venue, then wander back in 20 minutes later. The continued this cycle the entire time we sat there. At first I just thought they were trying to find some guys to party with, but then I realized, they were looking for the party. These two women were spending their entire evening going from bar to bar to try to find “the party.” I thought, “how sad….”
Jesus once told a story about a party. In the story their were 10 young women, virgins, waiting for the groom to show up for his bride so the huge party could commence. The thing was, they didn’t know when the groom was coming. So they had to wait… and wait. All the while they were running out of oil for their lamps since they were waiting at night. Of the 10 young women, 5 thought ahead and brought extra oil, and the other 5 didn’t. The 5 that who didn’t bring enough oil had to go out looking for more… so they left.
Back to the girls in the bar, what would have happened had Kenney Chesney walked into the bar and started an impromptu concert, of which he is prone to do in Nashville? The girls, searching for the party, would have missed the party of the night, locked out when they originally had the best seats in the house. But aren’t we all a little like these women?
We all are waiting for the Party to end all Parties, for Jesus to come back, bringing the fullness of the Kingdom of God. Yet how many times do we either get impatient or don’t prepare ourselves for it vigil well enough, and simply walk away, looking for something more exciting? We think we can go find instant gratifacation in whatever form we want, and when we’re done, simply come back to our spot in the line for the party. But in Jesus’ story of the virgins, the 5 that journeyed out for more oil came back too late. The groom showed up while they were gone; the party began without them; and they found themselves locked out of the party they so desperately wanted to be apart of. Yet due to their inability to plan, they walked away.
“Prone to wander Lord I fear it, Prone to leave the God I love.”
Prepare your heart and life for when Jesus’ returns. Count the cost and train your mind in the beginning. Journey out for “better options” at your own risk.