I took a call from a woman this morning who felt she had put off preparing for far too long and had a foreboding feeling that if she didn’t do something right away, it may be too late. She felt like the perfect storm of potential catastrophic events was quickly forming and it wouldn’t be long before she would need to rely on her food storage. Indeed, these are feelings and emotions that an ever increasing number of people are experiencing and I hear these concerns from individuals across the country almost every day.
Fear can indeed be a great motivator but it can also be emotionally very taxing. If an initial burst of fear is required to move us forward in properly preparing, then one might consider it a good thing. But sitting in a rocking chair on your porch with a shotgun across your lap as you wait for the end to come is NOT a good use of that initial fear and concern. By committing to steady, regular activities focused around properly preparing for the future, the day will come sooner than you think where you will experience a peace of mind knowing that if something happened and you were not able to go to the grocery store for an extended period of time, your family would be provided for.
It is my personal belief that this fear, or sense of sudden urgency, is a very natural outgrowth of the awakening to our awful situation. As we come to more fully understand the true nature of the world we live in, and how fragile it actually is, the urge to prepare grows strong and hot. As we first begin to see our unpreparedness, we are overcome with our vulnerability and may panic in our attempts to get ready as quickly as possible. Consider the story of “The Farm Hand Who Could Sleep When the Wind Blew”.
There once was a farmer looking for a young man to help out at the farm. There were several young men who interviewed for the job and as far as the farmer could tell, they were about equally well qualified. He then asked each of them one final question, “Tell me,” he would say, “why should I hire you above the others?”
Of all of the applicants and their replies, there was one that was really different. One young man said, “Because I can sleep when the wind blows.” At first, the farmer thought it was just strange. The more he thought, the more he was intrigued and mystified by the response. So he figured, well I will give this young man a chance, and hired him.
Weeks went by and the farmer was pretty happy with the young man’s work. He still wondered sometimes what the young man had meant by his strange reply, but he never got around to asking about it. Then one night the farmer was awakened in the middle of the night with a phone call from a neighbor. “There’s a big storm coming in with lots of wind, maybe a tornado. Better get ready for it.” was the quick message.
Indeed as the farmer went to the door and looked out, he found that the wind was strong and rising, and rain had started. He quickly ran and tried to awaken the young man to help him get everything ready for the blow. Try as he might, the young man couldn’t be stirred. Muttering to himself about what a stupid thing he had done in hiring a lazy boy who wouldn’t wake up when he really needed him, the farmer went out to the farm.
He went out to tie down the hay but discovered that the hay was already tied down securely. Next, he went to the barn and the corrals. Everywhere he looked, everything had already been prepared. After a time of just wandering around the farm, learning that there was nothing that needed to be done at the last minute, because it had all been done (prepared) before, the farmer returned to his house, but instead of muttering, he actually found himself singing praises of this young man. He had realized, to his great joy, that the reason the young man could sleep when the wind blew was because before he went to bed each and every night he had already prepared for the very worst.
And so the farmer followed the example of the young man since everything was already prepared, he undressed and was soon fast asleep, with a huge smile of peace on his face. This young man had nothing to fear and was not stricken with panic at the onset of the storm because he was fully prepared. He had put forth the necessary time and effort to secure everything well in advance so he could rest the night through with little concern for the howling winds outside.
This story reminds me of how I felt years ago when a small earthquake hit our community in the middle of the night. It was 1:30 AM on a Monday morning when I was awakened by the house shaking and the sound of dishes rattling in the kitchen. The earthquake registered only 3.5 on the Richter Scale but the epicenter was fairly close to my house so it definitely got my attention. I remember jumping out of bed and looking out the window to see what was going on. There was a creepy sound and the wind was howling, perfect had it been Halloween but not too comforting that night. After things calmed down and I got back in bed, this great peace of mind came over me. You see, I was very well prepared with food storage and all the accompanying preparedness items and I knew that if that earthquake had been the big one, I was prepared and even though it would be a very scary event, my family would not go without. That peace of mind is priceless!
For those who are feeling overwhelmed with the task of becoming prepared, or for those who are concerned that they simply cannot accomplish the tasks laid out before them to become prepared for the events to come, please remember that this new day is a gift, giving you at least one more day to take some form of action to move you and your loved ones closer to being prepared.
No matter what our level of preparedness, fear, and panic are not necessary if we are striving to put procrastination behind us and are wise in the use of our time and resources, for we have this promise from the Lord, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”.
To take this a step further, it saddens me that there are so many who struggle to enjoy their lives after having “awakened” to the need to quickly prepare. When the events of the last days seem closer than we imagined, it’s difficult not to become preoccupied with the future. While it will become easier to “not fear” for ourselves as we become more prepared, we can still feel saddened for our loved ones who are not prepared. Such emotional preoccupation can quickly become overwhelming if we’re not careful. I encourage each and every one of us to prepare like the world will end tomorrow, but plan and live our lives as though the time is yet far away. If we can successfully find the balance between these two activities, we will each find comfort and peace in the days to come, regardless of what happens around us.