Preparation is key in life! I believe in the quote, “Those who fail to prepare plan to fail!”
I have failed many times this summer in preparing in advance what I was going to cook for dinner. With both Thomas and Collins being home for the summer and enjoying frequent house guests, it is one of my favorite things to do….cook at home! Since we experience “empty nest” most of the year….our life has changed–Bill and I eat out a lot more. It is fun and requires less planning for me and allows me to write more during the day and study so that I can travel and speak.
When May rolled around, I was just not prepared. I kept doing what I was accustomed to doing in the spring and found myself hearing the door to my office open around 5 p.m. and Thomas would plop down and say, “What’s for dinner?” Or, I would receive a text from Collins asking for grilled chicken for dinner….panic would strike because I had been so busy…I either had not been to the grocery store or had not taken something out of the freezer….thus…I didn’t have a plan and certainly was not prepared. It is now mid-July and I have finally gotten back in the swing of being prepared to cook at night.
I absolutely love what scripture teaches about being prepared….God’s Word is the key to living a successful life….Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant you sluggard and consider her ways, and be wise without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she PREPARES her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” [emphasis mine] And 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord, always be PREPARED to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect.” [emphasis mine]
God’s desire for us is to be prepared in our daily practical lives and in our daily spiritual lives. Living a successful life requires us to be SELF-disciplined in our preparedness. I love how God points to the “ant” who has no ruler standing over him making him take care of himself or the family. I also love that God cares how we deliver our testimony of hope in Christ….with gentleness and respect. He desires for us to be prepared.
What does that look like? For me, it means at the start of each day…being still and quiet–even if that means I get up early, sometimes very early–praying and filtering everything through God’s eyes. I have learned from doing it wrong that it is best to…DO IT GOD’s way and in HIS time. Reading His Word. Thinking ahead. Making a list (I can’t rely on my memory) and then, GETTING AFTER IT.
Yep, put the PREPARED PLAN into action. At 52 I can tell you, if you are young and reading this, it is not old age that makes me write things down. It is the experience of having your integrity compromised too many times from forgetting. My kids forget. They are 20, 22, and 24…so it is not age or youth. We all get busy, distracted and forget. So, if your word and dependability are important to you, then learn to write it down or …put it in your phone and set alerts!
Learning to prepare is a conscious decision on my/your part if we plan to SUCCEED! NO if’s, and’s or but’s about it…..being prepared is a part of God’s plan for everyone to be successful.
God wants us to be prepared daily to share the reason we have and live with HOPE….we can do this respectfully and gently if we are daily feeding ourselves with His Word and living in His will….I find it so easy to share my story…happily and especially gently, because a daily time with Christ…gives me a “real” look at how needy I am of HIM…..thus, it gives me compassion for others….that daily quiet time? It shows me my humanness and shortcomings…gives me the much needed grace from God which I very much need to extend to others. Therefore, respect is a given!
I encourage you today….to PREPARE….it is not hard. It just takes a strong inward decision and thirst to SUCCEED! Succeeding God’s way….is the VERY BEST.