Getting through the morning routine for another day - cajoling the kids through their list of ‘getting ready for school’, placating a cranky toddler, trying to organise ourselves – the thought pops into my mind, “It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday ‘stuff’ of living that we forget there is a bigger reality - Jesus is coming back.” Luke 17:20-37 doesn’t hold back. It’s like Jesus is grabbing us by the shoulders and giving us a little shake before looking us in the eyes and asking… ‘Are you ready? Or are you wandering down the path of distraction?’ And having pondered this passage at length last week, written on it, then preached about these urgent realities… it’s still easy to move on and simply ‘get on with life’.
I know that being ready and waiting for Jesus to return and usher in God’s Kingdom doesn’t mean NOT getting the kids ready for preschool. It doesn’t mean not engaging my heart and mind in work, family, home and social activities. This is the life that God has created us for. But of course, he’s created us to engage in it conscious of him - his authority, his wisdom, his grace. And as Jesus labours in this passage, conscious that this form of life - this world - is transitory and fading before a coming eternity. And that’s really the challenge isn’t it - not to withdraw, which is the mistake of the ascetics and monks, but neither to live as if this is all there is. 
I personally find it hard to tread the middle road faithfully. Enjoying this world and this life as the good world God has made and given to us, and yet recognising that it is under judgment - judgement that could come at any moment. I guess the key is that next passage, the parable of the persistent widow. We tread this faithful middle path by lifting our eyes and hearts to God day after day, in the midst of all the striving, the pain, the pleasures and joys of this life, and praying, “Come Lord Jesus, and bring your Kingdom.” I know I could be praying this much more than I currently am, and I’m guessing you could too...