“What about your spikes?”
So went the conversation just before my son left for school the day of his first track meet of the season. I wanted him to be prepared to do his best, and that meant not having to stress over forgetting something. This conversation really just represents one of the many I’ve had with my boys.
My husband, knowing I’m not a morning person, has told me more than once that he’ll see the boys off to school in the mornings while I get a bit more sleep. But, I just can’t release the need to make sure my boys are prepared for the day ahead. I remind them often to prepare the night before, but being teenagers and also boys, they usually don’t. While my husband is a terrific father, and good at many things, planning ahead is not his strong suit. Plus, he just doesn’t have mom radar.
Being unprepared can be frustrating and embarrassing. It can turn an ordinary day into a bad one very quickly. And too many unprepared days usually lead to an overwhelmed life as getting by consumes any best that might otherwise exist. A habit of unpreparedness eventually creates a reactionary, drama-filled life. And that sort of life comes characterized by relentless stress and exhausting overhwelm.
The Value of Preparedness
I want my boys to learn the value of being prepared because I know this habit sets them up for an effective and successful life. Vastly more important, though, is them knowing the concept of preparedness as it relates to their spiritual states. I want them to know that their heavenly Father also values being prepared and wants them to always stand ready.
Matthew 24 conveys God’s preparedness message aptly. In it, we have Jesus’ words telling us to not panic and to instead prepare to endure to the end. The idea of panic and endurance tells us the situation will be dire and feel desperate at times.
Jesus also tells us what to pay attention to and what not to let steal our focus. In that, he directs us to…
- Know the Truth (His words, Scripture, prophecy, etc.)
- Know what’s coming
- Know what you don’t know (the exact timing)
- Know your responsibility as these events unfold
This chapter in Matthew ends with a call to preparedness, to
“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” (Matthew 24:44)
Jesus gave us what we need to be prepared, and called us to a continual state of preparedness.
A Habit of Preparedness
Living with a habit of preparedness based on the information you have creates the mindset necessary to be ready for THE event of all time — Jesus’ return. This is ultimately why I teach my boys the mindset of preparedness. My hope is that doing so will create a way of thinking that flows into every area of their lives, from the small events like track meets to the big ones later in life, but most importantly to the only thing that ultimately matters — their individual relationship with their Savior.
Seeing the connection of everyday habits to our eternal perspective helps us better see the truth in how all we do can truly be to His glory.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Preparedness is, for me, one of the most powerful examples of this principle.
DISCUSSION: How would you describe your level of preparedness, both in life and eternally?