I am intrigued with what I call the Doctrine of Immediately or in other words ones responsiveness. How long did it take wise men to respond and set off on their journey? Did they linger, tinkering around, taking months in preparation to set their affairs in order or were they resolved to immediately take off on their journey. The book of Matthew sheds a little light on their circumstances; they came “from the east of Jerusalem” and Herod “slew all children…two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” Did the wise men travel from distant Asia or were they closer in the remnants of the Babylonian Empire? It really doesn’t matter, obviously they traveled a great distance in less than two years and preparations were needed but eventually they had to respond.
The Bible gives other examples of individuals called and their responsiveness was immediate; “they straightway left their nets,” “they immediately left the ship,” and “they came with haste.” I would like to think the wise men left immediately. I would like to think they had prepared themselves over the lifetimes to immediately respond to those few small things so they would be ready to accomplish those many big things. It is similar to the illustration in the Parable of the Talents; one servant was given five talents, another three talents and the last servant one talent. Both the first and the second servants multiplied their talents and were given additional talents and the scripture reads; “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” The last servant hid his talent and it was taken from him.
Responsiveness is an attitude, it is a way of life. It is difficult to respond immediately to anything if one lives a life of procrastination. How many others saw the star and are still figuratively making preparations? The Doctrine of Immediately beckons each to respond in faith rather than procrastinate out of fear.
What is my responsiveness to both the small and simple things in life as well as the large and complicated things? What is my method of capturing those promptings? What commitments have I made? Do I immediately set out on the journey or do I linger around preparing? I hope to follow the example of the wise men and set out on my journey immediately.