So, in my dream, I was hosting several young children, friends of my daughter, and was trying to get them all settled for the night when I realized it was Christmas Eve. Horror hit me when I remembered that the next day I would be hosting my extended family for dinner. And I had not prepared. At all.
I rushed to the fridge to see what vegetables I had on hand. Five large carrots. “No! No! No! Why is this happening?” I rushed to my phone to Google supermarkets that might be open on Christmas Day. As reality set in, I threw the phone down; of course there would be none open! I rushed to the fridge again to see what I could put together with turkey and provide a rather non-traditional Christmas Feast. But then it hit me: I have no turkey! Oh the desperation! The shame! The self-hatred!
I woke up. Thankful it wasn’t really Christmas, and thankful the dream didn’t include my relatives showing up!
Doesn’t it feel good to be ready? To know you’re ready?
Whether it is a family reunion, a work project, or just getting dressed for an evening out, being adequately prepared is empowering. Feeling adequately prepared is a big part of that empowerment.
(When you’ve done all you can do, getting the feeling just requires a little faith in your prep, and faith in God who prospers the work of your hands!)
My go-to book of wisdom, Proverbs, speaks to preparedness often. One gem of many: “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house” (Proverbs 24:27). Truthfully, I used to read that and think it was backward but, with second thought, realized that the future was in the field, not the house.
The book of Proverbs seems to be all about being ready for what comes. And Wisdom is the foundation of any state of readiness: “Get wisdom, get understanding; forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. … When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened [characterized by difficulty or restriction]; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her, for she is thy life,” (Proverbs 4:5,12,13).
We live in a time of flux, both in the world and in the church. The culture and world view of both are changing more rapidly than we have seen in my lifetime. Obviously, change is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it is a result of growth, but sometimes it is a result of deterioration. Whatever its cause, it happens and we need to be prepared for it with a foundation of “preserving, promoting, keeping” wisdom.
‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10).