As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. – Matthew 24:37-41
Today’s passage continues the exploration of “the coming of the Son of Man. Apparently not only will He come on the Clouds in a dramatic and worldwide way, but people will be sorted out and taken or left behind.
I assume it is passages like this, one or similar ones, that inspired the book of fiction “Left Behind” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Apparently readers liked this book as it has blossomed into a series of 16 books and several movies, including one in 2014 starring Nicholas Cage. Since the purpose for this blog is exploring water themes in the Bible not book or movie reviews I will leave it there. Suffice to say end times books and movies are very popular. Perhaps an exploration of why we are fascinated by this would be a good topic for a Rabbit Trail, but for now let’s get back to the passage.
The water reference here is to Noah’s flood. I have explored the meaning, and my understanding, of the flood in a previous post about God’s Rain. It seems like some of the most feared calamities and disasters are events that happen with little or no warning like earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, etc. Apparently Noah’s flood and the coming of the Son of Man will be like this, unpredictable and unexpected. One day we will be living our lives and going about our regular routine and the next everything will change.
I don’t think that God means to scare us, but then again maybe He does. Perhaps we need this shock to shake us out of our secular stupor so we can attend to the spiritual side of our lives. For some reason I am reminded of the saying about being so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good or so earthly minded that you are no heavenly good. Perhaps balance and equilibrium is the key. Many, if not most, natural systems tend toward balance and equilibrium, especially aquatic systems and rivers. Even mighty rivers like the Colorado or Columbia rivers naturally tend toward dynamic equilibrium and must be able to bend like the willow without breaking when large floods occur. So how do we achieve a dynamic equilibrium between our spiritual and secular lives?
Perhaps we can take our cues from the willow. Willows survive and thrive along dynamic rivers by: 1) growing close to the water source; 2) budding early and often so as to produce new growth and fruit; 3) growing into new places and thriving where they are planted; and 4) remaining flexible to avoid breaking catastrophically when the inevitable floods happen.
When the Son of Man comes will we be growing, budding, and bending willows or will we be stuck in the mud encrusted with barnacles?
Prayer: God help us to see both the secular and the spiritual in our lives so we can find a dynamic equilibrium and be prepared for Your return.