Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
…that is to say, “Pre-TRIP safety tips.”
I was driving into town on the south stretch of the lane bordered by tired fences keeping a few goats and a couple of horses in their lanes, and just about the same time a commercial for the local tire store came on the radio so did the usual poor reception at that quarter-mile section of road.
For a few minutes the broadcast got static-y, punctuated by crackles and pops. The ad reader’s message hit a few potholes of both sound and comprehension which is when, somehow, I heard pre-TRIB as in Tribulation–instead of pre-TRIP as in road trip–safety tips.
It was, however, a perfectly reasonable sound and comprehension flip-flop, at least in my mind, as I had been listening to a prophecy expert laying out his case that we may well be into the so-called “end times”.
That is, he was making his case in between commercials for his upcoming “End Times Prophecy Countdown,” PSAs for “Prophecy Countdown Stress Disorder (PCSD),” and tire sales.
(I just made up the part about PCSD, but if you’ve ever been to one of those conferences you might know what I mean.)
It was the kind of auditory glitch one might, in the visual department, experience when, due to the suggestion of shifting clouds on breezy days, you can look up and see, say, bunny rabbits or maybe giant scary dust mites and the next minute, see, say, dead cloud-ringers for four horses of tell-tale size and color cresting an apocalyptic horizon.
But in the way the mind melds disparate images and sounds in an attempt to make sense in other parts of the brain, this made sense.
Because if that preacher, even amid static, crackle, and pop, is right about such a time as this, we might need a few safety tips of a spiritual sort before THE Tribulation Period of tribulation periods, detailed in the last book of the Bible, commences, and maybe this was just another reminder on this country lane with bad radio reception, potholes, and a canopy of shifting clouds prompting certain visuals.
God does work in mysterious ways, however.
And He gave us a brain that can connect dots above and beyond the regular call of duty.
Thus if we are where he and many others think we are on the Revelation Road (with some Book of Daniel and 24 Matthew for backup) it would be a good thing to prepare…
So then my thoughts shifted to wondering what a list of Pre-Trib safety tips might be.
I came up with the following.
- Make sure you have your trip insurance paid up. Of course in the case of spiritual “insurance” for the trip to Tribulation, Jesus actually paid the price for us so that we won’t have to even go there (as people who believe we will be “raptured” before the wrath of God begins). But the point is, we can redeem the insurance policy in this context because He redeemed us from God’s wrath by His death on the cross. Here’s a footnote on that.
- Make sure the oil level is up. In this context, the “oil” inside the lamp as per the parable of the “wise and foolish virgins” symbolizes the Holy Spirit we received at salvation and best keep topped-off by our obedience to God’s Word and committment to follow His prompts and inspirations. Especially, as in the parable of the ten waiting for his arrival, He could be knocking on the door any minute.
- Make sure the gas tank is full would be rendered as checking to make sure our source of spiritual power is on Full which is God’s Word energized by the Holy Spirit. Daily checks advised. Daily prayer helps.
- Rotate the tires before leaving so that the inevitable wear and tear travelling life’s lane fraught with annoying (not to mention highly distracting and deceptive) static via the usual lusts of the eye and flesh and the pride of life, will not be more treacherous than it already is. And speaking of eyes…
- Remember to keep eyes on the road ahead and not on the sky above. This serves two purposes: 1) you will be less likely to crash your ride, and 2) you will never be startled by the semblance of those four horses of tell-tale size and color whisking down from the stratosphere in the gathering storm which might also make you crash or perhaps veer off into the “Detour of Fear”. Not to mention you will never have to be suddenly freaked by the semblance of giant scary dust mites, either, like the real ones that they love to feature–uber-magnified and with no warning–on pop-up ads for allergy medication every time you turn on the computer for the weather report or maybe a recipe for gumbo. The kind of invisible mini-MONSTERS that could be, right now, without you even KNOWING it, silently moving, nanometer by nanoneter closer and closer to your skin, opening their bitty mouths with even bittier sharp teeth, like little nanodemons of which the Trib will be filled–along with macro-sized…
Well you never know where your imagination will take you.
But even if we may suffer some PCSD as we track the Map of God’s Wrath we needn’t stay in that state, because there IS a “happily ever after” promise in the back of the book.
The part where there is no more distracting and deceptive static, no more potholes, no more tempting lusts, and no more horses of menacing sizes and colors with their fearsome riders.
And no more dust mites.
So here is how I will end this both fanciful and yet fearful Trip to Tribulation.
Though it’s a wild ride with a truly apocalyptic destination of biblical proportions for those who pitch the trip tips or disregard them altogether, if we keep our eyes on the road–and on the Lord of the road, specifically–we can still…
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippinas 4:4-9)
Imagine that, too.