On the evening of February 28, 2009, I went to sleep. When I woke up, it was March 1. This same phenomenon repeated itself on February 28, 2010 as well as on February 28, 2011. I began to believe that this was a reliable trend. Then the strangest thing happened. Last night (February 28, 2012) I went to sleep just as I had on all of those other occasions, but when I awoke, I found that it was not March 1, but rather it was February 29 – a day that hasn’t even been on my calendar for the last three years!
Well, as you know, this anomaly wasn’t really unexpected. Even though it hasn’t happened in a while, we knew that this was Leap Year. A year is not actually 365 days long. It really is 365 ¼ days. Thus, if we didn’t periodically adjust the calendar by adding a day each 4 years, then our seasons would slowly shift out of sync. Actually, if we want to get technical about the matter, the year really is 11 minutes less than 365 ¼ days. This causes the calendar to become a day off every 128 years. So about once a century we have to skip a leap year.
Knowing all of this enables us to be ready for the extra day. Calendar companies are well familiar with the event and print their products accordingly. It doesn’t really take us by surprise even though it is out of the ordinary.
However, there is another out of the ordinary day that we know is coming, but we just don’t know when. Nevertheless, it is essential to be prepared for it. That day is judgment day. One morning we will awaken to our last day on Earth. For the vast majority of us, we’ll have no indication that it is going to be our last day. It will begin like most other days, with no warning that it is really THE day. The Bible assures us of the sudden and surprising nature of that day in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 (NKJV), “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape“
On the other hand, knowing that this day is coming does enable us to prepare for it. We don’t have to be caught off-guard as if it were an unexpected event. In the next verses, Paul would go on to say, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6).
With this warning, why would any of us be caught off-guard? The answer to that question lies in Luke 21:34 (NKJV), "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.” If we allow ourselves to get distracted by the immediate to the neglect of the eternal, then we are sure to be unprepared on THAT day. We all live life at a hectic pace, but will we take proper time to be watchful? Will you make time for mid-week Bible class? Will you make time for daily prayer and Bible reading? Will you make your children aware that their spiritual lives are of surpassing importance when compared to any other aspect of life? Will they see that priority reflected in your own life?
In short, are you ready or are you distracted?