I'd been putting it off. Although I knew it was important, taking inventory of our earthquake and disaster gear just wasn't getting done. Japan rests along the "ring of fire" in the Pacific ocean, a stretch of area that is particularly vulnerable to earthquake activity. And so having a backpack of essentials by your door to grab on the way out is, well, essential. But mild earthquakes in Tokyo have become such a rather regular part of our lives that we've let our guard down a bit. We weren't ready for an earthquake to come.
When I finally got around to assessing our earthquake readiness, I realized how unready we were. Wiping the dust off the backpack in the carport, I unzipped it to find a horror story inside. The batteries had attempted an escape, leaking acid all over the contents of the bag. To make matters worse, the acid had actually bored a hole through one of the canned items, which oozed its contents out and into the bag as well. It was not pretty (and now I know why all those stray cats were hanging around outside for awhile). The remainder of the canned food seemed intact, but the expiration date was 5 years ago. The bottled water also looked a bit suspicious. The short of it is: we weren't ready for an earthquake to come.
As I replaced and organized new gear for us, my thoughts turned toward the "parables of readiness" in Matthew 25. Five bridesmaids wisely carried extra oil. Two servants carefully used their entrusted resources. A wise and faithful servant works to the best of his or her ability to use what he has been given, and prepares himself for the Master's return and inspection. With God's help, I want to be ready in my life and work for my Master to come. How ready are you?