In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.
President Spencer W. Kimball, "Faith Precedes the Miracle", 1972
I've been reading a book by Brent L. Top and he quotes President Kimball, so I wanted to dive into what he says a bit further.
Notice how President Kimball says each of these minor occurrences adds a drop of oil. It's not an all or nothing scenario. We can't go into a super warehouse, like Costco, and buy several gallons of oil at the last minute. It doesn't work like that. A couple of thoughts here....
1) Is that by small and simple means, are great things brought to pass. This counts in anything we endeavor to do... that is worthwhile, that is. Our focus should be on the 1%, not the final result. Our goal is the final result, but how get there requires patience, endurance, love, struggle, effort, trying, etc.,...therefore, our focus....little by little. A journey of a billion miles, starts with one tiny step. We can't see the finish line, and it is far, but God and Christ can see the end. They have the perfect perspective. We have to trust Them that we are heading in the right direction and just keep walking down the straight and narrow.
2) We know that some oil is expended to burn the flame so it needs to be constantly refilled so it can be constantly lighting the darkness. Putting in drops of oil needs to be equal or more to what we expend, otherwise our stores will get depleted. And, in today's world, burning that flame so we can see through the dark mist enveloping us requires a lot of oil, hence a lot of work to refill our oil stores. It's not a matter of opinion but a matter of fact. Christ will come. We need to be ready.