Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. – 1 Peter 1:13-21
Occasionally I enjoy a slow-start morning. If I don’t have an early morning meeting, workout or other pressing duties, I can really enjoy easing into the day. It happens usually once or twice a month. When it does, I enjoy drinking a cup or two of coffee, reading my most important email (the daily comics email to which I subscribe), doing a crossword puzzle, or browsing the internet for random things.
That is not so much the passions of my former ignorance, but it certainly is not obviously being prepared for action. One could, however, make the argument that such days are in fact a means of preparing for action. A key element of being prepared for action is being well-rested. Being well-rested is also a matter of healthy rhythms of rest and work, abiding and bearing fruit.
One of the issues the New Testament Church constantly fought was that of outward religiosity and requirements of Law-keeping as though those practices were necessary to salvation. Peter speaks of the outgrowth of being saved not in terms of religious practice but of moral uprightness.
We may not be tempted to be overly religious, but we may well be tempted to be overly busy, and by that be unprepared for action. We may be unready to give an account of the hope within us because we have no space to cultivate hope. We’re too busy chasing the things of this world to wait for and trust in God’s provision and promise: the stuff of hope. We are not as worshipful as we are religious because we fail to appreciate the fullness of God’s redemption. We place more hope in worldly success and sources of security than in God.
That calls for repentance and some intentional effort to ease into the day once in a while. It may or may not involve crossword puzzles, but it will surely bolster our hope and preparedness if we take those moments to remember the priceless ransom by which we have been redeemed.