October 24, 2013


The 6:00 a.m. alarm rattled me out of my drowsiness. I wanted to snooze, but this Friday would be a busy one, so I slipped out of bed and into my cozy slippers with the day’s agenda swirling in my head. On my list was my husband’s reminder that the UPS man would be delivering a package that required a signature.

After early-morning errands and meetings, I pulled into the garage at 9:45 a.m., assured that the UPS truck didn’t usually come until after lunch. Now I could get busy with the piles of things looming on my to-do list: vacuuming, laundry, cleaning, and paperwork. I plunged into my chores with fierce determination to have a clean and presentable home by the start of the Sabbath. Mirrors started to sparkle, clutter disappeared, lunch was served, and my son went down for his afternoon nap. Superb! But no UPS truck yet. He’ll be here soon, I assured myself.

I continued with my dusting and mopping, and the house started looking rather spiffy. I decided to go down to the basement to tackle the spare room. My piano technician husband had turned our guest room into a temporary repair shop. Pianos came and went, but the telltale signs of occupancy were strewn about. Vroom, rattle, whoosh—the dust, dirt, and gravel were soon swooped up, and the room was transformed.

Strange the UPS man hasn’t shown up yet, I thought. I’m just going to have to go to town now, because I can’t wait any longer. As I marched out the door with my son holding my hand, my eye landed on a formal yellow sticky note. The familiar UPS symbol was clearly emblazoned on the corner. Two little square boxes on the yellow paper were checked with black ink: “First attempt” and “Will return Monday.”

“Unbelievable! I’ve been here all day,” I fumed. My husband was not going to like this.

“Of course you can’t hear the door when you’re in the basement with the vacuum on,” he said. “Why didn’t you put a note on the door?” I had a lame reply, because I really had no good excuses or witty comebacks. I knew that the UPS man was coming, and I’d been home waiting all day.

My husband continued: “That’s what’s going to happen to people when the Lord comes. He’ll come, and people will be down in the basement, vacuuming!”

His quick analogy startled me. He’s not one for sermonizing, but his blunt response struck a nerve. What if I am too busy with my earthly life to pay proper attention to the One who is coming soon to give me eternal life? What if I’m not hearing Him knocking on the door of my heart? 

My spiritual journey has been blessed with the assurance of salvation through faith in Jesus. I know God loves me in an incomprehensible way. But have I allowed the busyness of life to be a distraction? Have I  let the soon coming of Jesus be the primary focus in my life? He is coming soon, and unlike the UPS man, there will be no second chance at delivery.

Jesus talked at length about being ready for His coming and the work we should be doing. Peter encouraged the believers to love each other deeply, and manage the spiritual gifts God gives them with strength and energy. Our busy lives should be filled with things that will lead us up to the light, not down into the basement.

Our very identity as Adventists indicates that we know what the Master wants. We are looking forward to His soon second coming, and we have a special message to share with all who will listen. There will always be the cares of this life, but as I’ve been reminding myself lately: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33, KJV).

It’s been some time since I missed the UPS delivery that Friday, but by the grace of God the priorities in my life are shifting. Jesus is coming soon, and what a day of delivery that will be for those who seek Him first.