Countercultural

Look Deeper, See Clearer, Run Harder

Update // A Note on Preparation

I get out of bed on 9AM on Saturday morning. I’ve been moving nonstop all week, so it’s nice to finally sleep a little longer. I from my new bedroom to the office with my Bible and journal. I sit down in one of those snazzy POÄNG chairs from IKEA.

Ah. This is the rest I’ve been waiting for. Also, what time was that youth retreat meeting today? I pull out my phone to look.

Answer: 9AM–Noon.

Preparation
Welcome to Hopkins, the city of Raspberries.

I all but flew out of the Scandinavian armchair.

Why is it that when life gets busy, time with God is the first thing to go? 

In the midst of all the busyness, I wanted to give a quick update on my life and offer a note on preparation:

  • A week ago my wife and I moved into a townhouse with another couple from our church. We’ve been unpacking and assembling snazzy IKEA chairs all week.
  • I’m beginning a more consistent role at my church, speaking twice a month in our young adult service.
  • I’m volunteering as the Spiritual Director for a youth conference at the end of the month.
  • This weekend I’ll attend the Northwestern Christian Writing Conference at University of Northwestern in St. Paul.
  • This Sunday I’ll speak to my home church youth group on the first night of their summer missions trip.

With all of this activity—and especially after the incident Saturday morning—I’ve realized the importance of preparation. If I’m going to be a good steward of the opportunities God has given me, I need to make the time to steward them well.

But preparation isn’t just for me. It’s for you, too.

In some ways, our entire lives are about preparation.

I don’t mean to be overly dramatic or spiritual. All I mean is this: God is always preparing us for something, whether we’re aware of it or not.

We’re all familiar with Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

God has already prepared the work for us, but “that we should walk in them” is conditional language. It’s our responsibility to walk in the works God has given us.

The problem is, there’s no way for us to know exactly what those good works are. I wish I could just open my Bible each morning and see a list of all the good works God intends for me that day, but that’s not how life works.

Instead, Paul tells Timothy in a later letter to “be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). In other words, be prepared for whatever God brings, whether you’re expecting it or not.

God is always preparing us for something, whether we’re aware of it or not.

The way we walk in the good works God has for us is by being prepared for them before they come. If we wait until the opportunity comes, we’re already too late.

Preparation for God’s good works through your life begins now.

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  • Bill Slack

    Sometimes I feel like my life is like your Saturday morning incident!

  • McAfee Family

    Another element of preparation is building margin into your life (not scheduling every minute) so that you can join God in what He is doing when unexpected opportunities arise. Building margin also means saying “no” sometimes and prioritizing God and your family relationships.