"Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near."
In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus' disciples ask him about future apocalyptic events. In response Jesus provided them with several signs they should look for in order to identify when the last days will occur. In other words, rather than giving them a specific date, Jesus told them to keep a look out for certain events that will signal the beginning of the end.
The lesson here is that we should not try to predict a future date. Rather, we need to pay attention to the current state of affairs and see if that matches with what Jesus warned us about. This concept of being observant and focusing on the present is a skill that many of us need to improve.
To test your observation skills, see if you can answer the following questions. How far away from where you live is the nearest fire hydrant? What color is it? Where is the closest fire station? What is the station number and how many overhead doors does it have? If you can't answer these questions you may want to consider how observant you really are. And if you can't recall simple information from your own neighborhood, what might you be missing in terms of the Kingdom of God?
(New Living Translation; photo credit: Jametlene Reskp via Unsplash)