Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be Prepared

I was never a Boy Scout, Cub Scout, or otherwise. For some reason, my generation thought that it wasn’t “cool” to be a Boy Scout. I’m not sure if it was the uniform or the outdoor skills that we thought we were above, but my friends and I refused to be associated with them. However, my son is now a Cub Scout and I am having a great time experiencing scouting with him.
(Click the title "Be Prepared" above to transfer the the Boy Scouts of America website.)

This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to race in the district Pinewood Derby. After our car crashed at the previous race with our local scout pack, we made some adjustments to the wheel that came off and thought we were going to do well. Believe it or not, the same wheel came off at the district race. I was very disappointed and couldn’t help but think of all the things we could have done to the car to be better prepared.

The Boy Scouts motto is one that almost all of us have heard. The words “Be Prepared” can be recited by most of us even if we were never Scouts. However, the entire motto reads as follows; “The Scout motto is BE PREPARED. A scout prepares for whatever comes his way by learning all he can. He keeps himself strong, healthy, and ready to meet the challenges of life.”

Preparedness is crucial to getting things done correctly and efficiently. I read a news story a while back, about a robbery attempt in Benicia, California. Two armed men in ski masks had picked a cashless credit union to rob. A "cashless credit union" is where the money is deposited into a vault inaccessible to most employees. The men fled the scene, and no one was injured. One police officer was quoted as saying, "Apparently they weren't really prepared."

This reminded me of a robbery attempt that happened when I was a banker in Taylors, SC. Three hooded men got out of a pickup truck and attempted to come into the bank, hoods and all. When they tried to enter my branch, the doors wouldn’t open. We had magnetic doors at the branch that had to be released manually from inside. Obviously, we were not going to let in three men wearing hoods and facemasks!! The poor guys just weren’t prepared. They couldn’t even be good bank robbers.

God calls us to be prepared, to be ready, and to be the best. Colossians 3:22-24 reads, Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don't work only while being watched, in order to please men, but [work] wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord—you serve the Lord Christ. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

In other words, no matter if you are a plumber, carpenter, preacher, teacher, or even bank robber, you are to perform that task as if you are serving the Lord. By obeying this Biblical principle, we turn every ordinary mundane task into something that requires us to be the best.

In order to be the best, we must be prepared. No athlete trains to come in second or third or last. A true athlete’s heart and vision always sees the victory celebration, not the anguish of failure. It keeps the athlete strong and pushing on when he or she would rather not even get out of bed.

If we truly understand the greatness of the prize that lies before us, if we genuinely grasp the vision of the victory celebration in heaven with our Heavenly Father and loved ones, if we could hear our savior cheering us onward, we would never spend our time doing anything but preparing and training for the race we are in.

Training for this race is simple. We need to study God’s word, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) we need to pray constantly, Pray without ceasing.(1 Thessalonians 5:17) and seek God in every decision we have to make.

Be the best Christian you can be!

You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. (1 Corinthians 9:24 The Message)

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