Wake me up, Lord and help me get ready (#bigread12, @thomasmathie)

One of my favourite websites at the moment is “the burning house”… it is a fab tumblelog that presents participants’ responses to the question… “what would you save if your house was burning down?”

I love looking at the pictures of all the treasured items… photos of family members… old cameras and heirlooms… harddrives full of the data we now hold so dear… clothes… books… CDs and records… etc.

I also love the various participants’ responses to the ’things’ that are not ’things’… their significant other… their kids… their pets… etc. Usually they are mentioned in the “not pictured” category but sometimes they feature in the photograph… which is always cute and heartwarming.


I’ve always thought about what I’d grab if my house was burning down. After I have ensured the safety of my wife, two daughters, cairn terrier, two guinea pigs and two budgies… what would I go for?

My Apple products and my Kindle? My precious harddrives filled with my music and photographs? My collection of JRR Tolkien books and art… or my vintage film cameras? What about my pile of secondhand Levi’s or my rather overwhelming collection of CDs and vinyl? Do I have time to rescue my Star Wars figurines or my extensive range of Starbucks memorabilia? What about all my journals or the Hitchcock films I love to watch?

I really don’t know, to be honest… it is a situation I am not prepared for and do not wish to be given this test.

It is then apt for today’s reading from NT Wright to speak of preparation.

I wasn’t a Boy Scout and whilst I try to be prepared for what life throws at me… I’m not the most organised of people. I want to be… but I’m not. My wife is the organiser… I’m just a lapsed devotee to David Allen’s cult called ’getting things done’ who watches Bear Grylls for entertainment, not instruction.

In the reading, Wright speaks of John the Baptist as messenger... warning people to get ready for the coming King. He doesn’t give them much time to think… to consider… he is on them like a fire ripping through their house… he is immediate and full on.

Today is the time to get ready… not tomorrow… not next week… today. There is an immediacy in the message John relays… and we need to use the time we have now to prepare.

I have been taking some time away from my church community lately. I have found myself unfulfilled and in desperate need of affirmation in the expression of church that I worship in. I can’t shake the feeling that I don’t belong… that the leadership don’t appreciate me for who I am… that they don’t get the gifts I bring to the table. I’m not a musician… I don’t sing in the choir… I’m too shy to work with the Homeless. I try to fit in… but flounder every single time.

The thing is… have I used this time off to the betterment of my faith? Not really. I could do better.

I see this as being what Wright speaks of when he talks about getting ready… of making preparations. It’s about using every second we are given to focus on Jesus… getting our hearts and our lives organised for His return.

Don’t get me wrong… Jesus loves us as we are. But He wants the whole of us, not a part. For us to be truly fulfilled… we need to give Him our whole lives. We need to give up our clutter and our mess… stop hoarding onto the sin that we cherish and live for Him… live expectant lives… live lives free from all that enslaves us.

I, for one, need to use this valley that I am in to better trust on Him… and just like the person fleeing their burning house, I need to leave behind all my junk and only focus on that which matters… that which is most valuable.

As we start this Lenten journey, I need to consider the words of John the Baptist as a wake up call… a fire alarm, if you will… and get up, get ready and get out.

“The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life.” (Mark 1:7 MSG)

The time is now. The real action comes next. Wake me up, Lord and help me get ready!


About headphonaught

Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father. Son. Photographer. Co-host of the Something Beautiful podcast. Advocate for independent music & awesomeness. Founder of the weareallghosts netlabel and the circumambient podcast.