If you have read my blog lately, you already know I’ve made a big deal out of being fit. I stand by that, wholeheartedly. Thats is not the subject of this little missive.
The Boy Scouts of America have had as their motto since the beginning of the 20th century, “be prepared.” You might also remember that Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Preparation, being ready, is an encouragement that can be applied to just about any part of life. In fitness, preparation is a precursor to being conditioned. You work your body hard, over and over, and it gets stronger. The same can be said for the mind. I prepare my mind by reading–a lot. I ready voraciously, hundreds of articles, book after book. The more I read, the more I open my mind to the world around me.
When I look at the world around me, I know something is wrong. People aren’t very happy, they don’t have much joy. Many struggle with life; sometimes they end their life and the lives of others tragically. In the move, The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo at their first meeting, “What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”
Does that describe a lot of what we’re reading and hearing in the media right now, or what? Preparation, conditioning, where am I headed with this? Let me put it this way, if you prepare your mind with the right information, you will be conditioned to think right. If you go the other direction–bad stuff into your mind–you’ll be conditioned to do bad stuff. What is the right information? Jesus and His Word. What is the wrong information? Anything that leads you away from Jesus and His Word.
Now, back to my premise–being prepared. I don’t know where I heard it, but I’ve said more than a few times, if you are not prepared to die, you are not prepared to live. That was kind of important to me today. Several hours ago, I sat at a traffic light waiting for the green ball to appear above me so I could get on to where I was going. The light turned green, I pulled into the intersection and very suddenly found myself rattled, dazed, and not knowing what was going on. A few minutes later, I realized that someone ran the red light on their side of the intersection and plowed into my car. After I composed myself and found that there were no serious injuries, it occurred to me that I could have died in that accident.
Was I prepared to die–yes. Why? Because my life has been conditioned by Jesus and His Word for more than 35 years now. I surrendered my life, received Jesus as my Savior, put it any way you like–I was saved by God’s grace a long time ago and I’ve been preparing for life ever since.
While the police were sorting things out and the wrecker was loading my car, just across the intersection another wreck happened. This time, a baby was in one of the cars. The mom was livid; who could blame her. She was rear-ended. Thankfully, everyone was OK in that wreck, too.
After a visit to my chiropractor for a much needed spinal adjustment and some therapy, Debbie (my personal chauffeur) was driving me home and guess what we saw less than two miles from the scene of the last two accidents–another one. This time a beautiful white Harley-Davidson motorcycle was pinned under a pickup truck. The driver of the bike was sitting on the ground talking on his cellphone, he looked OK, his bike was a mess. His rider was standing nearby and didn’t look any worse for the wear either.
Preparation, conditioning–necessary, you better believe it. If you don’t believe it, and you don’t prepare for eternity, one of these days it’ll be your turn to get hit in an intersection or hit from behind or run over by someone not paying attention as you walk down the street. Maybe you won’t be as fortunate as me or that baby or that biker. Maybe your life will end that day. Are you prepared to die. If not, you are not prepared to live.