There was a time in my life where I tried being a preacher. Public speaking was natural to me and I enjoyed looking for little nuggets of truth or application in the texts I read, particularly the Bible. I still search for bits of wisdom there though I stepped away from the pulpit several years ago.
There was one sermon I preached at a little Methodist church. I used the old Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” as my theme. I spent many years in Scouting and achieved Eagle Scout. That was long before the drama surrounding the organization.
Regardless of the recent years, the concept of being prepared stuck with me and is something I often hold dear from my Scouting days. And don’t worry, I won’t preach at you here.
In my sermon, I used Joshua 1:9-11 as my text.
9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 ‘Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”
There are several things we can learn about being prepared in this text.
1) Fear should not stop us from our goals. Be strong and of good courage.
Have you ever had to do something you didn’t want to do? Maybe it was a conversation you didn’t want to have, or a confrontation you knew was coming but you dreaded it and put it off as long as you could.
I’ve discussed fear previously and how it can be used as a learning tool. When the time comes and fear arises, embrace it as a noble gift, a testament to your tenacity.
The Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote, “Wouldn’t I prefer not to fall into war? But if war does befall me, I’ll wish to carry nobly the wounds, starvation, and other necessities of war.”
Being prepared involves mental fortitude and the courage to do the job. In Joshua’s case, it was conquering a land of supposed giants.
2) Don’t trust others with your preparation. Prepare provisions for yourselves.
I remember as a young Boy Scout going on a camping trip. It was the first time I had to pack my own gear because my dad wasn’t going with us. I packed everything I needed… but extra socks. I wore the same pair all weekend, through wet and nasty conditions. I learned my lesson to be better prepared in the future.
Sometimes in life, we don’t get to choose the battles we fight or struggles we face. But we should be ready and able to at least endure and survive. If we are appropriately prepared, we should thrive and overcome those pesky giants.
I read in a recent Wall Street Journal article about a state governor who felt like the Federal government wasn’t sending enough aid to the state. His comment was there was a sense that “we were all alone. There was nobody coming… You were going to have to manage this on your own.”
That’s a reality of life. We must prepare provisions for ourselves. No one is coming to save you. Even God told the Israelites to get prepared; there was a job to be done.
3) Face your fear, prepare your provisions, and do the work. Go in to possess the land.
The most important thing about being prepared is putting that preparedness into action.
I’ve discussed pulling the trigger previously. Once you have the mindset and the gear, GO!. Make it happen. Kick the giants out and get that milk and honey.
The future owes you nothing. The past is a nap or a lap you took yesterday.
Are you prepared to tackle TODAY?