Be on your guard: don’t immerse yourselves in a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you unaware, like a trap! For, like a snare, will that day come upon all the inhabitants of the earth. But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Being on guard seems to evoke in some an image of tense vigilance that is tiresome. A more relaxed understanding of being on guard is being present to the moment, being mindful of what is happening in the now. It is not a tense expectation that something bad might happen during the watch. It is rather the openness to be surprised at any moment. It is like the wife who expects a husband’s return after a long separation. She fusses over her welcome preparations, but all her being is attuned to the coming of her beloved. She does her work but every moment is a possible moment for the joy of reunion. If we reframe our understanding of how to be on guard while waiting for the end time, we will have a relaxed and enjoyable time of waiting.
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