Preparation has been on my mind off and on for about a week now. I suppose it's something we're doing pretty much all the time. We're preparing for bed, preparing breakfast, preparing for the drive to work, preparing for the workday, preparing for lunch, preparing to take a break, preparing for a meeting, preparing to go home, preparing for dinner, preparing for bed and on and on and on. It's easy to get lost in all the monotony of continuous preparation.
Before we can prepare for all the other stuff of life, we must take time to prepare ourselves by setting aside a time for the experience of connection, conversation, meditation or how ever it is you talk to or experience the spirit of God.
I've been preparing for a speaking engagement. Pastor Larry Hastings of Park St. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Charlottesville, VA asked me a while back if I'd be able to bring the message one Sunday morning. I was glad to accept his invitation to come and help highlight our combined work with the Dineh people of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. So, I've been thinking; preparing something to share for this coming February 5th.
Preparation is important in, as pointed out, in just about everything we do. It's important because by preparing you tend to establish a foundation to work from, or in the case of my remarks, I'm thinking and preparing my heart and mind during the time leading to and right up to the very few minutes before sharing my thoughts with others.
Preparation is my topic today, because lately I feel that I've not really personally been preparing for every day as I should. My good friend, Derek Maul has helped me think about things like preparing for the day by becoming devoted to setting time aside for yourself to talk with God, to meditate, read scripture or a devotional everyday. Man! It's hard isn't it?!
I felt like I was doing good there for a while. I've found that trying to honestly prepare myself at some point in the day for devotional time seems to get harder and harder to do. But, I'm not going to make excuses. I could, but I'm not. I start off telling myself that I will prepare and then the next thing I know, my head is on the pillow and sleep is upon me at the end of a fast paced day ends in another missed opportunity. How many of you have this problem?
So, as I began to think about all the importance of preparation and how integral it is in our life's journey. I began thinking about my preparation for the speaking engagement. I caught myself listing in my mind what I would do over the course of the next few days in order to center myself and immerse myself into my topic. This mental prepping for the speaking engagement has caused me to re-recognize how important daily spiritual preparation is. It's made me want to write about it and share it with you, the reader, cause I'm sure you can relate and it's made me see that I need to be better at preparing for each day by making sure to set aside some time, at some point in the day for quiet reflection. I recognize that I miss what I was doing and that's a good thing.
So as you prepare for the day or perhaps your preparing for bed or making preparations for a meal, a trip, a storm, a test, reading a book, a workout, a visit with a friend, making an important decision, writing and/or delivering a sermon, walking the dog, moving a parent to a nursing facility, entering rehab, a family intervention, a birthday, a date, a court date, finding a new job, college, a talk with your teenage son or daughter, a talk with your parents, a wedding, moving to new home, a funeral for a friend or loved one, a new baby, to go see a movie, some work around the house, welcoming home a spouse from war, rejection, acceptance, asking for forgiveness, forgiving a friend, etc., etc., etc. and etc. Whatever your preparing for, don't forget to make the first and most important preparation of your day.
Listen...be still and discern. It'll certainly prepare you for life's journey.
So now, I've thought of a great song that just popped into my mind as I was preparing to finish this entry. Enjoy some Stevie Wonder
And if by chance you're preparing to be in the Charlottesville area February 5th come on out for a visit to Park Street. I could use the support!