Saturday, January 23, 2016

Matthew 25:4 -- On Oil and Transitional Goals

"But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps."
Matthew 25:4

This verse comes from the parable of ten virgins, which tells us symbolically about waiting for Christ, and being prepared with enough oil for our lamps. Ways that we can have a constant supply of oil are things that help us to feel the spirit and stay close to Christ in our lives. Things like prayer, scripture study, attending church, going to the temple, reading gospel books, and learning and teaching about the principles of the gospel are things that can help us to grow closer to God, and resist temptation.
I think that God warns us because, as in the parable, none of us know when Christ will return, and sometimes we get too used to the in-between state without him.  It's like our whole lives are spent waiting for him, but we knew him before this life and we will certainly know him after.  We just get confused in the middle sometimes and think that all eternity is this preparation time.  Like we get mentally trapped in High School or College mode sometimes, or even Mission mode.  These transitional times in our lives are times of intense growth and learning, but they aren't our goal.  They aren't ultimate reality.  And, just like someone who relives the glory days of High School over and over, imagining that was the pinnacle of their lives, sometimes we get trapped in the middle too, only prepared for the in-between and not our ultimate goal.
Today, let's remember that Christ is our ultimate goal.  Life with God is our purpose, and *that* is what we need to prepare for, and dream about.  Let's develop our relationship with God, let's nurture our spiritual sensitivity, and let's be ready for our real lives, when this transitional time is over.  Let's not make the mistake of thinking that this is all there is, and this is all we ever need.

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