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Preparation For The Inevitable
by Rick Stephenson
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Are you prepared? Prepared for what you ask? The inevitable of course! Understanding what is inevitable (an unavoidable thing that is certain to happen), will help us address what it is we all have to deal with – Challenges!

Challenges are a part of life. There is no escaping them, no matter how much we would like to. Therefore, since we all face the challenges of life, what then makes the difference between those who do well in spite of them and those who stumble? I am sure there are a myriad of responses but when you boil it all down this one response plays a big if not an enormous part and it is called preparation!

To be prepared simply means you are willing and able to do something or you are ready to deal with something. In other words, is your physical, spiritual, emotional and mental state in a suitable place to be able to cope with whatever life throws your way?

Preparation – when you define this word compared to its earlier form of prepare or prepared, it implies the work or planning involved in making something or somebody ready, in putting something together in advance and a state of readiness. Within this definition is the key as to why so many miss the mark when challenges arise. It is referred to as work and work by its definition is purposeful effort. It is the transfer of energy from one thing to another. In short, it is expended effort and it is hard!

Now imagine expending energy and effort in planning for something you can’t see or imagine yet! It can make the perceived work seem all that much more difficult and hard. However, the key here is perception and perception is the process of using our senses to acquire information about our surrounding environment or situation. Perception is an attitude or understanding based on what is observed or thought about.

There it is – I believe we have uncovered the issue – it all lies in our attitude! When we feel that something may be too difficult, we may try to avoid it and since our discussion of preparation involves the unknown it is easier to simply ignore preparation altogether. None of us knows exactly what tomorrow will bring or if there will even be a tomorrow for us, but that shouldn’t excuse us from planning and working through the thoughts of what could be. On the other hand, many of us do like to dream of a better life and the things we want so we will at times try to work toward those ends. Yet, what is the disconnect between the two?

One can seem negative and one can seem positive but if we only have one without the other we become lopsided. I am not advocating a totally pessimistic or absolute optimistic viewpoint. I guess you might say I reside a little more on the realistic scale. Still when I look at a glass of water, I would say it’s half full rather than half empty. This concept goes beyond that kind of thinking. It should make us dig deeper and realize that if we take a look at both what our dreams are and what information our surrounding environment is providing us we should be able to apply ourselves in such a way as to accomplish both our dream and the preparation necessary to face the challenges of the unknown.

Challenges are God’s way of proving us and developing us. It is the tool He uses to help perfect our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states. He may even allow the sacrifice of one area to help sharpen another area. It is also the way He separates out the sincere from the insincere. Another way of saying this would be that it is the way He identifies the wise from the foolish. The Bible has a lot to say about both topics of wisdom and foolishness and the impression I am left with from scripture is that God prefers that we pursue wisdom. Moreover, an essential part of wisdom is in being prepared. Sure, we may not know when the next stock market crash will occur but through observation of our surrounding environment, it would seem wise for us to have a few dollars tucked away to provide for our physical being. Additionally, we may not know when the next scandal will break, so again through observation of our surrounding environment, it would seem wise not to invest our emotional state in the newest political star but rather to build up the emotional bank accounts of those closest to us like family and friends.

I would even go so far as to say that given careful observation of our world wide environment that it would be wise to ensure that we have our spiritual house in order should God decide He’s had enough of sin, corruption, green and the filth of mankind. I know our attitudes may need adjustments in order for us to be prepared for the what if scenarios but simply ask those who have prepared in advance for either success or disaster and determine if they were sorry they expended the energy to prepare? I believe in either case you will get an answer of it was well worth it because for success it simply heightened it and made it sweeter while for disasters it made its blow a little bit softer.

I would encourage you today to show yourself wise by following one simple concept – preparation. It will take some thought, some diligence to look for answers, to gather resources or change your environment but in the end, you could find that it was about time and it helped you face the inevitable!

God Bless - Rick

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