The walls were being wiped down. The trash was being picked up on and around the school grounds. Side streets were blocked off. A couple of new couches were brought in. A few things, that had been broken for a while, were fixed in and around the school. A few days before and the day of, administration, staff and students were prepped and prepared for the arrival of Mrs. Obama, the First Lady of the United States of America. She was to speak to 20 high school students about violence and the future of our youth.
Excitement, busyness, minor casualness and a sense of pride filled the air, students and staff. Watching the White House officials, security, police and fire chief as well as police dogs, news crews and reporters fill the building and area added more nervousness, seriousness, excitement and awareness that the First Lady was coming to Englewood and specifically Harper High School.
I, too, was excited! I looked forward to seeing even a glimpse of her. I was informed that on the day of her arrival staff must be in early or we would risk not being let in and if we left the building, we wouldn’t be able to come back in. Security measures were heightened and also some of my students, who had the privilege of being selected to speak with Mrs. Obama, had to go through certain security measures. As I saw things being cleaned and heard that even abandoned houses were being boarded up, I couldn’t help but to turn my lips up at the fact that the city and school officials would take one day to clean up and make the surrounding community and school—known for its violence and home and school of about 8 students who lost their lives to gun violence in the past year—perfect and presentable to visitors. I thought, “what about cleaning it up every day or at least letting Mrs. Obama see how it really is.” The community should be taken care of everyday and presented to its residents the way it was presented to its visitor. It is like what I always tell my family, “We shouldn’t rush to clean the house when we think someone will visit; have it already clean.”
Yet, still I anticipated like everyone else in the hectic, busy day for Mrs. Obama to walk through the doors. Some said she might not even show. Some notable people in the past have said they were coming to Harper and didn’t even show. As I reflect on the strategic and many preparations for our first lady’s visit, it made me wonder about our preparations for our soon coming KING. Are we well-prepared? Are we cleaning our “houses” to present ourselves in an excellent, acceptable way to the Lord? Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV) Are we storing and safeguarding the Word of the Lord in our hearts? Or are we perpetrating, cleaning only on the surface or momentarily only and waiting to revert back to our old ways? Are we nonchalant and hard heartened about the Lord’s coming? Have we grown weary in waiting or even fallen asleep spiritually?
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. (Mat 25:1, 5-10 NIV)
Help us to be ready and forgive us for all the times we failed to stay focused on You. Forgive us for not being holy as You are holy or living in such a way You would not be pleased. Help us to unite as one and be the Kingdom of God that will glorify You in all that we say, think and do. Thank You for Your eternal kingdom that is more glorious than any celebrity or noteworthy official. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to examine yourselves and allow God to search your heart so that He can purify You, do a good work in you and perfect it until it is complete. Get your “houses” in order, fix your eyes on Jesus, and ask Him to prepare you for His coming. Anticipate it and get ready. Instead of rolling out the Red Carpet for everything and everyone else, let’s roll it out for Jesus to shine and fill our lives with His Glory!
According to God’s word, how should we prepare for our soon coming KING, Jesus Christ?
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Cleaning For Company
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.