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31 Days of Free Writes # Ready

Most of the time you aren't ready.  Doesn't it feel this way?
You rarely ever get that chance to square your hips and shoulders up, clutch the bat just so, and keep your eye on life's ball.  Stand ready for the pitch with your full attention.  Sometimes life finds you in an optimal ready position, but most of the time we seem unready, and ill prepared for what is aimed right at us.  We are scrambling to swing and hit a ball we never knew was coming.   We don't seem ready.  And sometimes we aren't ready simply because we haven't been faithful or maybe just because we are too weak.
However many times God's view of optimal timing is so different from ours.  I've thought a lot about this excerpt from The Hiding Place.  Corrie ten Boom is upset about the eminent death of those she loves in the German massacre of the Holocaust.  So many unknowns and really in a world of death and genocide and upturned uncertainty who would ever feel ready?  Do any of us ever feel optimally ready to deal with tragedy?
Her father whose wisdom is splashed throughout this book answers her questions thoughtfully brimming over with other worldly wisdom calms her with this glimpse into being ready in the face of fear,

“At last we heard Father's footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the blankets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe. 

But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. "I need you!" I sobbed. "You can't die! You can't!"

Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?" I sniffed a few times, considering this. "Why, just before we get on the train."

"Exactly. And our wise Father in Heaven knows when we're going to need things too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need--just in time.” 
― Corrie ten BoomThe Hiding Place

I remember reading these words at a friends house one misty morning during college.  I was up early, before everyone reading to pass the time.  I remember the picture that surfaced in my minds' eye about being ready for hard times.  We don't arrive at readiness prior to the event many times.  There's not a playbook or checklist we can go through now to ensure we are totally ready to walk through the valley of the shadow. Whether that be death or deep shadowlands.  We aren't going to feel ready.  Ever.  We receive the grace gift of readiness at the appointed time of the journey not before.  
I remember letting that truth soak deep into me as I lay listening to the birds and bathed in soft lamp light.  I liked that image. I've tried to access it again when my head swims uncertainty.
 Ready shows up just in time to hold our hands when we have to walk down the road, not before.  


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