“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25:13)

Glancing is not the same as watching.

I recently dropped my wife at a storefront so she could rush in for a few groceries. Stepping from the car, she said, “I left my phone at home so be watching for me.” I assured her I would, then maneuvered the car into a parking space with a clear view of the front doorway. Eyes riveted, I watched intently. There were only a few items on the list—in, out, done.

While I waited, other cars parked in my line of sight so I’d move to different spots. But each time, I watched that doorway like a hawk. I had promised to watch and watch I would.

But the “quick run in for a few things” turned into a longer than expected wait.

To leverage the time while waiting, I grabbed my phone and started searching the web. But I held it up so my peripheral vision still saw the front door area. I didn’t want to miss my baby when she stepped from the store. That would be unacceptable.

Checking this site then the next, scrolling through various posts, my hand grew tired of holding the phone up. I dropped it to my lap, but kept a wary eye. Well, it was more like a prolonged look in between scrolling online.

Engrossed in some interesting posts, my prolonged looks got shorter. They soon became occasional glances. What was taking her so long?

You guessed it—she emerged and I missed her. I allowed the distractions around me to nullify my promise to watch and be ready as soon as she came out.

Jesus cautioned us to watch for His unscheduled return. And we do want to be faithful to that call. However, many interests, influences, and cares of this world distract us. In far too short a time, our intense watching diminishes to occasional glances when we hear a sermon or read an article about the end times.

May we all renew our pledge to be ready and watching for His return. May our hearts burn with the urgency of the imminency of Christ’s return. Nothing else is as urgent or important. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38).

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