It's hard to believe that in our post-Katrina world, people would actually be complaining about over-preparation for Hurricane Irene. . . but they are. The older I get, the more convinced I become that you can't be too prepared for the things life throws at you. . . whether it's the weather or the storms of life.
I was thinking about this over the course of the weekend as we worked to get prepared and as we watched a diminished Irene blow through. Our preparation started unexpectedly during a two-day trip to visit our friends Randy and Tammie at their place in Ocean City, NJ. Just as we were preparing to say goodbye and head home on Thursday afternoon, the rains started. Randy has a 16-foot Hobie Catamaran sitting among a dozen other almost identical boats on one of Ocean City's three boat beaches. With only a couple of days until he was heading home for good, he was thinking ahead to the annual routine of getting that boat off the beach and back into storage. He accepted our spontaneous offer to help him with the task before we left. The entire ordeal would have made a great YouTube video as the four of us struggled to lower the mast and carry and trailer the boat in the midst of rain, thunder, and lightning. When Randy asked me to steady the mast with both hands I wondered how long it would be until I was treated to a flash, crack, and front row seat to seeing my entire life re-run before my eyes. Still, we got it done, we laughed, and we wound up with a great memory. Most important. . . we prepared for the storm that was coming.
I did the same when I got home. Our patio furniture and all other potential projectiles were put in the garage. My garbage cans and lids joined them. Since we have a well at our house, I filled coolers with water just in case there was a power outage. I think we were ready.
Storms in life are inevitable. The big difference between life and the weather is that forecasters don't exist who can give us details about the tragedy, struggle, or surprise that might come blowing unexpectedly into our lives as soon as tonight or tomorrow. That's why constant vigilance and preparation are so important. The Scriptures tell us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. The Psalms are full of laments occasioned by those rains. Wise men and woman build the houses of their lives on the solid and rocky foundation of God's Word. Remember singing that song? The older I get, the more and more convinced I become of my need to go to the well of God's Word moment by moment each and every day. It is from that well that we are able to draw our strength.
No storms may hit me today. . . or maybe they will. I don't know. I just need to be prepared. . . over-prepared.