Preparations

Time to PlanI get excited about big days and big events in my life. I will sometimes lay my clothes out the night before in order to make the morning go smoothly. Many years ago, I decided to become a morning person. I love the quietness of the morning. I can read, pray and meditate in the quietness of the morning. I learned very early on that I could not be a “night owl” and a morning person at the same time. I can still remember my grandpa telling me: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise”. I do enjoy my morning time with the Lord in His Word.

I came to the end of Mark this morning and I noticed something that I hadn’t noticed before. The ladies who went to the tomb to put the spices on Jesus’ physical body, prepared the spices the night before so that they could have everything ready for first thing the next morning. Check this out…

1Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” (Mark 16:1-7 NLT)

I remember the Scout motto: “Be Prepared”.  I think it’s wise to think through the events of my day. I started working on the events that come first and knock them out, then move to the next one in line. If I have a 10 AM appointment and a 3 PM appointment, I prepare for the early one first and then the next one.  Believe it or not, I had to make myself consciously choose, because sometimes I like what is happening at 3 PM and I dread the 10 AM. The point is, I try to always be prepared for each part of my day.

The other lesson I learned when I’m prepared is that I can handle interruptions much easier. If I’m not in frantic, “prepare” mode just before something is due, I can navigate through the unexpected with a calmer spirit for sure. So today is the end to the business of 2017 and the new year is just around the corner. I have been preparing for a while now the events of the new year. When I’m prepared, I have more time to anticipate and that is part of the fun.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Anticipation

Ketchup bottleI remember this particular Heinz ketchup commercial from 1979 where the song “Anticipation” was sang and the ketchup bottle was turned up and the commercial was celebrating the thick, rich ketchup that would FINALLY come from the bottle of ketchup. Anticipation is actually a “hopeful” word. It brings to mind the “possible, probable and even predictable”. It also implies taking action in preparation of something that is about to happen. The Prophet Isaiah was speaking in “anticipation” of the Son of God coming. Check this out…

‘Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4     he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.’
5 This is what God the Lord says –
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
‘I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
‘I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.’ (Isaiah 42:1-9 NIV)

 

I catch myself wondering about the future sometimes. What does the future for my family look like? What does my older years look like? I can prepare in great detail for my future and then something catastrophic like a car accident or the death of a loved one send my plans reeling. The truth is, I have very little control over what actually will happen. I can have 100% control over my response or my reaction. I am determined to trust the Lord with my future – whatever it becomes. I want to concentrate on being a faithful follower of the Lord. I do seek wisdom and guidance from Him for the future. He knows the future. He holds the future. I’m in good hands if I trust Him with the future. My anticipation about my future and the next 10 or 20 years involves me continuing to trust Him with the day-to-day events of my life as well as the big, “direction changing” events. Wherever I go and whatever I become in this life, I want to be a follower of the Lord through it all.

Pressing On!
Dwayne