Be Prepared

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His words contained much wisdom.  The family patriarch had just heard that one of his grandsons was locked out of his vehicle, with the motor running.  The young man was waiting for AAA to respond to his call for assistance, and he didn’t want the family worried about why he was gone so long.

That grandfather’s counsel to his extended family was to make sure you always have a spare key (until automakers put the hood latch inside the auto he would take a small piece of wire and attach his spare to the air filter).  You would never catch him locked out of his vehicle because he’s anticipated the possibility of accidentally closing a locked door and he’s prepared in case it happens.

Dave Ramsey, Larry Burkett and other financial counselors recommend that the two greatest needs for most people are to reduce indebtedness and build up an emergency fund.  Most advise building an emergency fund is the first step in getting your finances in order.  If you aren’t prepared for the inevitable expenses that do not fit into your budget, you’re efforts to manage your money will be sabotaged by that car repair, broken heat pump or dental crown.

During his series of classes on maintaining emotional wholeness in an uncertain world, Nathan Jernigan counseled us to be aware of the stress levels in our lives and do things that help.  In our last class he led us in a deep-breathing exercise.  Much of what he taught is great to do when you are already under stress, but it is also beneficial to build into our lives times when we slow down and prepare for the unexpected stresses which may arise tomorrow.

How can we build up a spiritual emergency fund?  Can we prepare this year for the possible rough times next year?  I am convinced we can through daily Bible reading, prayer and meditation.  A regular quiet time focused on God and his will nurtures our spirits and builds a reservoir we can draw on when the crises of life happen.

With each of the categories I’ve mentioned the common elements are anticipating and preparing for potential problems.  Steady incremental investments are the best way to be prepared for the biggest struggles life will bring.  If you’ve resolved to do such, follow through!  Be prepared.

John Kenneth King  

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