Watch and Be Ready

It seems like seldom does a week go by when there is not some form of natural disaster affecting the lives of countless thousands of people somewhere in the world.  It’s happening so frequently nowadays that it seems we’re getting used to such events and they don’t seem to instill the same level of emotions or fear and concern, unless you’re one of those who are directly affected.

As I viewed several videos of the Kilauea Volcano and the resulting earthquakes on the Big Island of Hawaii today, I couldn’t help but think about the awesome power of Mother Nature and her ability to change landscapes and lives within moments.  I also read articles and watched videos detailing the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala where more than 100 lives have been lost so far and in some spots, a mixture of gasses and volcanic matter reached 1,300 degrees totally devastating everything in its path.

It’s so very sad to see people’s lives and futures destroyed in this manner and it becomes very evident just how puny and insignificant man is in trying to control the elements.  Mother Nature will do what she wants, when and where she wants regardless of our planning and desires.

My mind then shifted to the scriptures where we were warned in the last days these types of natural disasters would occur in greater frequency.  Matthew chapter 24 in the New Testament spells out quite a few signs of the times and specific occurrences we should be watching for.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Lord goes on to tell us to be ever mindful of the signs of the times and by so doing, we might be better prepared to provide for ourselves as well as our neighbors when he states, “Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready.”

Watching so we’ll be ready certainly makes sense to me but I’ve found the Lord’s timetable isn’t necessarily the same as mine.  I must admit, watching can sometimes be wearing.  In fact, it’s easy to become impatient and just wish for things to accelerate.  I mean, if the Bible tells us things are going to get worse before they get better, let’s get it over with.  Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a train wreck in slow motion – things are definitely getting more trying but life just seems to keep going, regardless.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not promoting Armageddon to take place tomorrow.  I do indeed enjoy my current lifestyle and time with my family.  If I could wave my magic wand, I would want things to stay as they are and not continue to go downhill.  So I try and enjoy each day for what it is realizing it’s as good as it will ever be today.

So how do we balance enjoying the moment and “watching” so that we’ll be ready?  I do believe it’s a delicate balance.  There will always be those who take it to the extreme on one side or the other.  Most of us know those who insist on keeping their head in the sand and ignore all warning signs and move forward each day as if the conditions of their lives will never take a downward turn.  These are those who often scoff at the idea of food storage or preparing for difficult times ahead and tend to view those who do choose to prepare and fanatics who have gone off the deep end.

Then there are those who take prepping to the extreme.  Every moment of every day seems to be focused on preparing mentally and physically for the end of the world.  It’s difficult to interact with these folks socially because even casual conversations seem to be diverted to a discussion on some type of preparedness and the pending doom and gloom of events that will change the world as we know it.  One would think that constantly focusing on the potential negative of the world would give one major ulcers!

As I reflect on the Lord’s counsel to “Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready”, I can’t help but think of the saying, “A watched pot never boils.”  Yes, if we’re watching so intently that we never take our eye off the “preparedness ball” so to speak, things will have a tendency to drag out and we will waste our time worrying and being concerned.  Watching does not mean focusing on nothing else but preparedness, but it does mean keeping it on our to-do list.  Be prudent – put first things first in your life.  Keep your family relations, your spiritual well-being, your health and finances strong so you’ll be far better prepared in every regard to not only help and bless the lives of your loved ones but those around you as well.

So yes, the threat of war, natural disasters, economic concerns and a myriad of other potential life altering events will continue to increase in frequency and intensity and will be totally out of our control.  Our decision is to take control of those things we can influence and become better people.  We have to opportunity to become a true asset in helping and blessing the lives of others in times of need rather than a liability.  So please, continue to watch and be ready as you live your life to the fullest.