My parents heard the message of the soon coming of Christ and converted to Adventism about 30 years ago. Then, life moved on and I was born. I’ve heard the message for 20 years or so and nothing seems to happen.
With the recent advent of world conflict, natural disasters, and the rapid spread of the gospel amounting to numerous people being baptized to the church, there seems to be a rise in Adventist preaching about the second coming of Christ. It seems to me that we are coming back again to my childhood experience when I used to hear every other sermon the newest speculation and theory about how the world would end.
That process of speculation to me is the most dangerous, since it does not allow us to develop the art of just “being.” As people, we like to anticipate and decipher what is the next major event that will occur, especially when we do not have control over the situation.
For example, when a couple is in the process of courtship and the time is ripe for engagement, expectation rises and speculation is high. The soon-to-be bride thinks about when is the time that her beloved will propose to her and formalize the path towards marriage. When they are in a beautiful garden or travailing towards the sunset of the beach, the expectation rises and hopes of seeing the engagement gift come to one’s mind. However, if the expectation is not met and the anticipation keeps building, frustration enters the scene.
This what has happened over the past few years in our church. We keep saying that Jesus is coming soon and figuring what the next thing that will happen is. We try to figure if it is the Pope coming to the U.S. or Trump declaring a day of prayer (Sunday) for the victims of the hurricane disasters, or maybe North Korea with their nuclear bombs and hydrogen testing which will declare the soon coming of the Lord. We love to speculate and figure what is the next move when in reality we should just “be.”
Just “being” helps us to not speculate but rather work on the task that the Lord has given to us. When we put our minds to deciphering the next move, we lose sight of the present and focus on the things beyond our control. Maybe that is why the Lord left us with a job, so that we would put our efforts towards the caring for the poor, being a loving community, and preaching His Gospel to others through word and deed, rather than imagining what will happen next. Just “being” may be a difficult area to master in our lives since we are so used to doing something and figuring out the next moves in our lives, but as we practice the patience of the saints, we become closer to being ready for the coming of His kingdom.
Just “being” helps us 1) recognize that there is a task at hand and 2) accomplish it. It helps our anxiety levels go down and soothes our life into His presence. To visualize what “just being” refers to, imagine the following relatable situation.
You have applied to a job opening and interviewed with an important company. They have told you to wait for their response, but have not given you a timeline. As you wait for a response, your mind usually goes into a speculative mode. You think: “Did I get the job?” “Will they answer this week or next?” “When will I know?” and many other possibilities.
The reality, however, is that you are not in control, and the more you prepare yourself to just wait and let the Lord work, the more you rest in His hands. “Just being” is the ability to recognize that we have done our job and that He will do His. It helps us enter into a life of serenity and trust with the Lord. “Just being” is the art of knowing that your part is complete and the others will have to respond to it.
As Adventists, we don’t know what will happen next, but we do know that His coming is sure. As we continue our journey towards the heavenly land, let us remember that His word is sure and that the awaited day will come. If we do our duty, He will do His. Thus, don’t worry about what event will come next, instead, worry about those who surround you and need of your Christian help.