Thursday, September 09, 2010

Do You Lock Your Front Door?

        Take care of yourself, take care of your family. What does it mean? Do you lock the front door?
        The TV news gives reports of crime, disaster, trouble somewhere in the world. They tell briefly about storms, earthquakes, political upheavals, wars, and now we hear about “solar flares” and “EMP.”
        Can’t we just sit on the porch and wait for the Lord to provide what we need?
        The word “preparing” gets more attention these days. Some people call themselves “preppers”--while others question the need to get prepared. What are they talking about?

1. Overlooked by some, but entirely obvious, our very first preparation is for our dying. Is your paperwork in order? When some family member steps in to help will they find that you prepared for the legalities and forms they’ll need after your death? It will take some time and planning, but you will feel relieved when you’ve gotten it all written down and filed where it can be found. And what about you? Are you ready to stand before your Creator and give account for your life, your beliefs, your thoughts and your actions? Preparing for your own end of life on earth is very obviously your first priority.
2. Secondly, our preparation is for our living. The time to stock up on some extra groceries, water, and medical necessities is now, before there’s a trucker’s strike, or a bridge that collapses, or a tornado levels part of town. Others will wait until the last minute, but why? As a practical person doing this now shows that you are also a considerate person.
3. Help others. Consider what kind of an example you are showing your children, your neighbors, your friends and relatives? Will they remember your ready smile and helpfulness, or will they have an indelible picture of your scowl and impatience with the world? If more people talk about practical preparations for various situations won’t that be a good way to lead conversation into a mention of your faith?
        It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily trivia of our own schedules that we often fail to take a longer view. What if? After that, what if?
        Watch the latest news reports. Who was prepared? Who stepped up to help others?
        Look back at the last hurricane, the most recent power outage or flood. Things happen; what can you do to help your neighborhood?

What’s the best way to proceed?
How in the world can a person put events into perspective? How can he or she deal adequately with the challenges that keep intruding? Here’s a few ideas to get you started on prudent planning.
1. First, affirm to yourself that you do want to do the right thing. Maybe you were a vocal opponent of such things as “preparation” for yourself. Many people avoid thinking about it because they prefer to hold on to their previous beliefs; perhaps they’re too bashful or too proud to let on that they have more to learn about all of this. Identify your responsibility and step up.
2. Sit down and start making a list. Jot down what you can think of right now, then come back to it another day and add to it. Give some thought to priorities and time and costs. Make a start. If it’s written down then you’re on the right track.
3. Find out how to be better informed. Are there websites on specific topics you now realize you need for information? See what you can find on the Internet. Also, make some quiet observations around you. Are there people at work or in your acquaintance who might be open to conversation about prepping?

You can start now.
       “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” Psalm 90:12 (TLB) This verse underscores the idea of preparing for what lies ahead. We are to care for ourselves, our families.
        We can have an outreach to others, to help them get ready now, and help them during times of trouble when you can.
        You can start now. Making your preparations will improve your outlook and increase your confidence. Pray! Plan! Prepare!

by Elaine Hardt ©2010