I am Eastern Shore bound in just a few short days! Outside of maybe last year's trip to Montana, there has not been an outdoor adventure that I can recall in the past few years with which I felt more anticipation and excitement than this one. I suppose it is due to a combination of several factors. First, there is a great group of guys that are planning to go, and I know we will share many laughs, practical jokes and great food even if the fish do not cooperate. Second, we are planning to stay at the Eastern Shore Safaris Lodge in Exmore, which is an area on the Shore that I have never been to before. Third, we will likely fish some areas on both the Bayside and the Seaside that I have never seen or fished. Fourth, with several different sized boats being hauled over that can handle a variety of conditions, I hope to have the opportunity to hook and land a cobia, a bull red or a gator trout, all of which would be firsts for me. And fifth, I will be able to take a break from work and recharge before the busy fall season begins. Did I mention that I can't wait?
Mark 13: 30-33 (NASB)
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
Over the past couple of weeks, much of my free time has been devoted to researching fishing reports, assembling the various nautical charts covering the creeks and bays on the Shore, preparing my rods, reels and tackle, and purchasing a few remaining baits and gear which were either lacking or needed to be replaced. Because I am so focused on and in high anticipation of the trip to come, I have chosen to take the necessary steps to be prepared. I suspect that each of you takes similar steps as you get close to the time to leave on your highly anticipated fishing or hunting adventure.
In thinking about my excitement level for this upcoming trip, I began to ponder why I often do not maintain and express the same level of anticipation and readiness for Christ's eventual return to earth. I have heard that Martin Luther said only two days were on his calendar: “today and that day.” I suppose because 'that day' is an unannounced date in the future, I often lose sight of it and let it slip off my radar due to the commitments and concerns that are in my current field of view. If you can relate, I urge you to stop and heed a bit of caution. Were you aware that Christ’s coming is mentioned more than 300 times in the New Testament, or on average once every 25 verses, and entire books and chapters in scripture are devoted to the subject? It is clear that it is going to happen, so how should the anticipation of what will eventually come to pass impact our lives right now? If you're living for 'that day', shouldn't it have a very strong influence on how you live and conduct yourself? We ought to consider living expectantly, looking with certain hope to the day of His return; being active, because there are many who need to see a genuine witness of Jesus in our lives; and staying focused, preparing each day for our final day. One commentary summarized this by stating that how we live now should be completely consistent with our destiny, that is holiness and godliness.
Therefore brothers, just as you anticipate and prepare so earnestly for those outdoor adventure trips you have on our radar, I urge you to also prepare your hearts and souls for Christ's eventual return to earth. Take the necessary actions to ready yourself, live a life of daily consistency with your destiny, and may a joyous anticipation exude from you until 'that day'. - GE