Most of us appreciate being able to move through a problem, solving it logically, step by step. We carry on because we believe we’re right about the potential outcome. Sometimes though when we get to the end of our calculations, research, and options, we are surprised to discover we were not totally right. Some other factors exist that throw us off the mark. It’s in this phase that we have to make a new choice. Do we keep going, as Edison did, hundreds of times before he worked out the dynamics of the light bulb, or do we just settle for being close, almost right?

Jesus tells a story about five maidens who were waiting for the bridegroom to open the doors to a wedding feast. The women in question had done their homework, they brought their lamps and had them filled to the brim with oil. They were in the right place and with great anticipation, awaited the big moment. The problem is the moment didn’t come quite at the time they had calculated and so they started running out of oil and their lights were growing dim. They started to worry. They looked around and saw there were five other women who not only had oil for their lamps, but additional bottles of oil, just in case they had to wait longer. Suddenly it dawned on the five original maidens that they were almost right. They had come to the right place, let their light shine on the path to the gate, but they hadn’t prepared for a contingency. They hadn’t planned for an extended wait. As you know, they went to find more oil, and when they returned to the place, they discovered the bridegroom had come and let their friends in, but now the door was closed and locked.

You may come up with several ways to understand this story, but the one I am musing about says, “What happens when I hold tightly to a belief that is almost right, but not quite?” What is the result when I stop searching for the truth because I think I already know what to expect?

Personally, I feel more like the maidens who had to go find more oil, then like the ones who got into the feast. I suspect when it comes to God’s truths, I still have much to learn. That leads me to believe that no matter what I think I know, I need to keep reading His Word, and studying to know more. I need to think through the challenges life brings and see if I’ve missed the light God intended for me. It seems clear that He wants me and you to be better prepared for the days ahead. Being almost right, may not get us where we want to go.

What do you think?