Mike's Musings: Always Be Ready

by Mike Dvorak

Greetings Everyone, Preparation is a word we often hear in the context of getting ready for future event. Whether it be the evening meal or an impending winter storm, we know it is worth the time and effort to prepare. It is hard to cook a meal if we don’t have groceries to make the meal.

It is impossible to make a hamburger stew when all that we have is macaroni. We can’t cook a breakfast of scrambled eggs when all that we have is bread for toast. When the word goes out that a winter storm is coming, most people rush to the store to buy supplies so that they have adequate supplies to make it through the storm. It takes planning to get the correct supplies.

Do you buy only potatoes or noodles? Do you need butter or milk? What about bread or bacon? To prepare properly for an impending storm or the evening meal, you probably make a list of the things you need when you go on the trip to the store.

Being prepared involves more than just gathering food. Have you ever been on a camping trip and forget matches to light a fire? How can you cook if there is no heat? The wood has been gathered and piled into a nice campfire, the food is ready to cook, but there is nothing to “motivate” the wood to become heat. No matches, no lighter, no fire starter. Nothing is there except wood and raw, cold food. The experience is ruined.

A campfire with no fire. A hot cooked meal that is neither hot nor cooked. Not much of a camping experience. Our lives need preparation also. Very few things can work properly without being ready, without proper preparation. The motto “Be Prepared” is the way Boys Scouts express this. Semper Paratus is Latin for the Coast Guard motto “Always Ready”. There are many other phrases and mottos that tell us to be ready and be on the watch for impending circumstances.

These words may sound a little ominous but they are words of wisdom o live by. If your going to take a trip in your car, you are wise to check the fuel level and get fuel if needed. Your going to get cold if you don’t get a coat before the snow arrives. It’s hard to write a letter if you don’t have a pen and paper. Think ahead, plan ahead, be ready. The Bible talks a lot about being ready.

Deuteronomy 11:13 tells us “to love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” We are admonished to be prepared to serve God. Opportunities to love God and serve him can come our way at anytime. When we help others we are serving God. Matthew 25:40 says “I (God) tell you the truth, when you did it for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it for me.” Helping others is serving the Lord. There are many ways and many opportunities to serve our neighbors. Replace the word “serve” with the word “help” and it opens up our thinking a bit.

Serve almost makes it feel like we are being forced into service, as in a ilitary style service. Helping, in reality is the same as serve, but in today’s society it is a more acceptable or understood. We should all be ready to help others. It is the right thing to do and it will make us feel good for providing the help.

There is one last thing that needs to be mentioned. We need to be prepared for the return of Jesus. The Bible says we should be ready. Does that mean we should sit around waiting on Jesus to show up? No, not at all. The parable in Matthew 25, verses 1 to 13 talks about being ready for Jesus to return. Some were foolish and weren’t looking ahead. They didn’t prepare. There were others who were watching and were prepared for when Jesus came.

That is the example we should try to be. We should not live in fear but live so that if Jesus comes again in our lifetime, them we’ll be prepared to receive Him. It is not a matter of if he is coming but when he is coming. In closing, remember that our service to God involves helping others. It is what we should do, it is the right thing to do. As we help others, let’s not forget that our Lord and Savior is ever present and willing to help us if we call upon His name. Peace and Blessings.