Standing at the Threshold

“Are you ready?”

That’s the question I keep getting. It makes me laugh. Am I ready? Am I ready for my life to change in ways I’ve never experienced before? Am I ready to begin a stage of my life I can only comprehend in a fuzzy, theoretical sense?

Of course I’m not. I don’t see how I ever could be. I’m excited, yes. Thrilled, if we’re being honest. Over the moon. Soon, very soon, my daughter will be here, and I’ll hold her in my arms for the very first time.

I cannot wait for that moment. I’ve been waiting for that moment for a long, long time now. And I know that, when she does get here, Mary and I have an incredible support network of friends and family who will be looking out for us. We will not be “going it alone” in any sense of the word.

But I’m still not ready.

* * *

I think that’s the way of things, though. I think that’s how all life’s big transitions work. A new school. A new job. Moving to a new city. Getting married. Having kids. When we stand at the threshold of those things and say, “I’m ready,” I think what we really mean is, “I’m as ready as I can be.”

We prepare, if we’re wise. We read up on the subject. We seek advice from trusted friends who have already made the transition. We do our best to understand how this strange new change is going to work, but until we cross that threshold, until we take that first step into a world we’ve only heard about, all we have are theories. Ideas. Best guesses.

I’ve heard it said that you’re only ready for baptism once you come to understand that you’re not ready for baptism. There’s a lot of truth to that. You can study it, you can do your best to prepare for it, you can come to understand that you need it and that it’s essential to your growth as a Christian, you can talk for hours with those who have already made that commitment, but I don’t think it’s possible to be ready for the changes it brings about in your life. It’s just… something different, something you have to experience before you can truly know it.

* * *

It makes me think of becoming a spirit being. That’s what this whole life is building up to, right? We’re children of God. We’re called to be like Him. We’ve spent years—decades, even—putting off the old man, taking in the mind of Christ. Being transformed, not conformed. Awaking to righteousness. Letting God change us from the inside out.

And now, after all that, are you ready to be a spirit being? Excited, I hope. Eager, I hope. But ready? Ready to experience eternity and infinity? Ready to see layers of the universe you’ve never even dreamed about? Ready to be seated and reign with Christ for a thousand years?

When James and John asked to sit on either side of Christ in the Kingdom, He told them, “You do not know what you ask” (Mark 10:38). And how could they know? How can we know, even now? We’re standing at the threshold of a world we’ve never set foot in—eager, excited, but not ready. Not really.

And that’s okay. I don’t think we’re supposed to be. I think we’re supposed to be prepared; I think we’re supposed to be busy doing the things God tells us to do, but I think at the end of the day, the best we can do is to be “as ready as I can be.” And I think that’s enough.

* * *

This is the last Sabbath Thought I expect to write before my daughter comes into the world. I’m excited. I’m eager. I want to meet this little girl who has already made herself such a huge part of my life; I want to pick her up and hold her and sing to her and show her just how loved she already is.

Am I ready?

No. But I’m as ready as I can be. And I think that’s enough.

Until next time,

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