Some of us can remember the days of the timed test. In some sort of educational setting, a test was administered in which we penciled in our answer by filling in the little circles by our chosen answers. In some settings we were told to be sure and bring at least two #2 hardness pencils so in case one broke we could continue the test. It was foolish to come take the test with just one pencil. If the soft lead broke, you could not finish and you risked not passing the test. It was wise to bring at least two pencils to the test.
Jesus taught in the end time the kingdom of God would be like ten virgins awaiting the coming of a bridegroom for a marriage ceremony. They all had ceremonial lamps with oil in them for their place in the ceremony. Five of the virgins had vessels of extra oil with them as a reserve. The bridegroom was a long time coming, so they all got sleepy and lay down and slept. Finally the call was made and they all got up and trimmed the wicks of their lamps to make them burn brightly. During their time of sleeping, the oil of five of the virgins had burned out and they had no oil with them to refuel. They started trying to get some of the oil from the reserves of the other five virgins, but they were told to go and get their own oil. While they were gone to get their own oil to replenish their lamps, the bridegroom came. Those that were ready went into the ceremony with him, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came back and knocked on the door saying “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But the bridegroom answered them, “I say unto you, I know you not.” Jesus concluded the analogy by telling us to “watch”, to “stay awake” (spiritually), because we don’t know when he will be coming and we will be meeting him face to face (Matthew 25:1-13). The five virgins came to the time of the test with only one pencil. They had no back up, no reserve. When life uses up or breaks our pencil, we don’t have time to wake up and go find another one in order to finish the test. We are to be ready with a reserve. It is foolish to not have a reserve. The foolish virgins had it in their minds that they had all they needed, nothing lacking. But there was more needed in order to pass the test that life offers. Jesus taught that we be born again, baptized in water, and baptized in and led by the Holy Spirit. With this, we have a reserve from which to draw each day. With this we can be ready. We are to keep the extra pencils of living in his Word and Spirit each day so we can write our ticket of victory with God!