‘Be Prepared’


IMG_07341My son Jason left last weekend for a Boy Scout high adventure trip to the Rocky Mountains. The hiking and camping trip begins in Colorado at about 6000 feet elevation, but will include trails that top out between 10,000 and 12,000 feet above sea level, which will be well above the lawn and where the snow rarely melts! For the last couple weeks before their departure, he went on and on about the fun he and his buddies will have throwing snowballs at each other in June. (Personally speaking, I think a day or two of cold weather would be a fairly nice change from the blistering hot temperatures we’re currently enduring here in the deep southeastern United States!)

Before the group headed out for their trek, the trip leaders required the boys to attend a meeting the night before departure with their gear ready for a ‘shakedown’ inspection to insure that they had the proper equipment needed for their 11 day excursion into the mountain wilderness, and that they didn’t forget something important like, say, a sleeping bag. (Read about Jason’s long, cold, bagless campout here).

13416970_10206160146384636_5478131586840417914_oWell, that’s where we ran into a little conflict. Jason insisted for many days that his gear was completely ready. Though he had all the big essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, mess kit, and backpack, the shakedown revealed he was fairly light on essential clothing. For example, he only had one pair of thin nylon pants with zip off legs, 2 short sleeve water-wicking t-shirts, and one fleece jacket. Hardly, the gear necessary for the winter-like temperatures and high winds they are certain to encounter at higher elevations.

Even though it’s hard to think about thermal underwear, gloves and toboggans when it’s 95 degrees outside where we live, Clif tried repeatedly to explain to him how cold it could possibly get where they were going. But the more he suggested things Jason should add to his bag for his own protection from the harsh conditions, the more resistant he became. The defiant exchange ended with Jason declaring “My friends are not taking those things and neither am I! We’ll just be miserable together!”

IMG_07331-1You know, I can’t help but wonder how many times God warns us about the harsh conditions that He knows are ahead for us, pleading with us through His Word and the Spirit to adequately and wisely prepare ourselves. But again and again we defiantly resist and turn our backs on Him, insisting (through our words and actions) that certain misery with our friends would be better than His intrusion into our well-packed plans.

What if instead of seeing God as a cosmic kill-joy, requiring things of us that we see as encumbering and unnecessary, we were able to look behind the verses of scripture that at first glance seem so limiting, and recognize them for what they really are… the wise counsel of loving Father who only has our safety, protection and best interest at heart.

Colorado Crew

Thankfully, in the case of Jason, he finally put aside his objections and was able to listen to his dad’s advice and choose to take along a few extras to keep him from getting cold. Hopefully, he’ll have a grand time seeing some amazing sites. And, just maybe, should the temperatures plummet, he’ll stay warm and maybe from his surplus, (as the Boy Scout Motto says) “Be Prepared” to offer one of his friends some protection from the severe conditions.

And, you know, if we are willing to heed wisdom of our Heavenly Father and ‘pack’ well, maybe we will also ‘be prepared’ do the same for our fellow travelers too.

10 thoughts on “‘Be Prepared’

  1. It’s amazing how often Christians make decisions based on what other people have done, rather than on what God has said. How foolish to think that we know better than God, to base our course of action, or belief, on other’s choices, on other’s experience, rather than what God’s Word says when you take it literally.

  2. Thanks Karen. Your timely message comes as a reminder to stay in the prayer and in the word. No only to “be prepared”, but to stay prepared. These are the most effective ways to make sure we have all the spiritual gear, weapons, and food we need to make it through the many challenging terrains of life. God bless you.

  3. Boy Scout Camp eh? Awesome. I am an Eagle Scout! I hope your son sticks to it and makes Eagle. I too have forgot my sleeping bag at times camping. I am sure that is something to go from one extreme to the other when camping. I like the Boy Scout Motto, “Be Prepared”. July 2014, I have been an Eagle Scout for 20 years.
    I even have blogged about Scouting or mentioned Scouting often in my blogging. God Bless.

    1. Yes. Jason and his buddies took a high adventure trip. His scout troop puts together one every year. and he is also almost finished with his Eagle. The merit badges are complete, he just finished his project this past spring, and only has his paperwork to complete, the review board, and then the awards ceremony to go to get his Eagle. He is only 16. His older brother, Ryan, has Eagle too. so it won’t be long till I have 2 in the household! Glad to know you are an Eagle scout too! Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Yes! I’m from Colorado but now live in SC and am still surprised when I go back and find snow in the high country in summer! Love the metaphor you drew out with the packing. Father knows best!

  5. Good words for me, hopefully will heed them and be prepared. I know the cold that can occur in the mountains. Many years ago, when I was much younger, I backpacked often. One Labor Day weekend, a small group of us had a permit to climb Mt. Whitney. It was in the high 90s in the desert on the way to the starting place. It was in the high 80s at home. So preparing the pack with just the right stuff was hard, like from Jason’s perspective. I was very grateful that I packed right. I could remove when it was hot and put on when cold.
    God continues to teach me through His wisdom and not mine. Thanks for this as it reminds me of special times I had when I was a backpacker and a cross country ski/backpacker! The latter trips really called for being prepared…ten below zero!

    1. My motto has always been… “Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” Good for camping… and for life! Thanks for dropping by!

  6. You are a master at melding Spiritual truth with your life’s experiences. That combination of Truth and consequences make Switchbacks one of my favorite reads of the day. Thank you for sharing. And please fill us in on Jason’s trip. Was he glad he went prepared? I bet he was.

    1. Thanks Steve! Appreciate your encouragement. I totally believe that God is over all, through all and in all. (Eph 4:6) So if we look for Him in our every day experiences, we can find Him!
      As for Jason, he’s still on his trip and won’t be back till Sunday, but I’m sure he is happy to have some warmer clothes! 🙂

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