Prepped and Ready

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives.
1 Peter 1:13 (The Message)

This is the time of year we start looking at the calendar ahead and making all the preparations for how we’ll spend those long summer days that pass way too quickly. With Grayson starting
kindergarten in July, we decided to make the necessary arrangement for a summer vacation early, opting for a familiar setting in a beloved locale. Of course, with that comes booking rooms, setting aside funds, packing, all the essential requirements for preparation.

When preparing for a trip, are you the person who likes to have your bags packed at least a day ahead of time? Are you comfortable rushing around last minute to get everything ready? Or do you not worry about it at all because someone else does your packing?

In this passage, taken from Eugene Peterson’s Message translation, Peter uses specific statements, roll up your sleeves, get it in gear, essentially, be prepared. For some, that’s a more natural tendency than others. We may find it easier to prepare for a long trip than to prepare for spiritual exercises or journeys.

Translations of this passage differ. The NRSV has it as “prepare your minds.” The NIV says “with minds that are alert and fully sober.” Some translations are closer to the original Greek which
reads literally, “gird up your loins.”

In those days, to gird up the loins was to pull up the long flowing robes that men wore and to tuck the loose ends into their belts. If we are going to grow spiritually, we have to be prepared to tie
off things that prevent us from growing.

This is the idea. Prepare. Get ready. Take nothing that will prevent you from doing your best.

We are to be ready at all times, to act quickly when an opportunity arises. Our “loose ends” are the reasons we’ll cite for not being prepped and ready. Perhaps our calendars are too full. We are not listening or anticipating God’s voice. We’ve sunk into bad habits that hinder us.

Peter reminds us that this quest for holiness centers on Christ as the motivation towards a life of holiness, that the good news of God’s love is provided through the sacrifice of Christ, letting us know that what we strive for is the glory of God to be known in us and through us, that we might have that deep, genuine, mutual love from the heart because of the new life we’re given.

So, whatever the task may be, roll up your sleeves, get in gear, gird up your loins, be prepped and ready.

— Trent Sessoms