“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin
Imagine ho different the story could have been if Joseph had simply coasted. He was sold into slavery at the age of seventeen and stood before Pharaoh when he was thirty. Through thirteen years of slavery and incarceration, the temptation must have been there to settle. It was his lot in life.
When Moses wrote his prayer in Psalm 90, it was over four hundred years after Joseph’s legacy, but I wonder if he had Joseph in mind. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Solomon was nearly a millennia removed from Joseph, and he wrote, “See thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings” (Proverbs 22:29).
Paul encouraged followers of Christ to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
The preacher instructed the reader, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days…Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth” (Psalm 39:4-5).
Have you failed to prepare? Have you settled into your life like an overstuffed recliner ready to watch the world pass you by? If you have ceased sharpening your mind and skills you have ceased to truly live. When the opportunity comes for you to make an eternal difference, you will not be summoned for great moments do not call for dead men. “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion” (Ecclesiastes 9:4). Are you in the land of the living? Rise up to the challenge to press your God-given talents to the maximum.