Thou Shalt Prepare? (Part 3)

Stay calm. Don’t panic! Focus. Easier said than done, right?

We’ve all “lost our heads” at some point. It’s not fun, and certainly wouldn’t be helpful in an emergency situation. So this brings me to the final point I want to make about biblical preparedness – cultivating a sound mind.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13

I’m tempted to skirt over this by rattling off a bunch of trivial examples of how my personal stress levels impact my spiritual effectiveness. But that would be avoiding the real issue that I want to address in these posts – preparation for some type of wide-scale disaster. The truth is, I don’t know how I will react in such an emergency and I therefore don’t feel qualified to give advice about it.

Instead I would rather let others tell you – others who have been through it.

After my last post, fellow blogger God’s Girl sent me a story about a Tennessee minister who lived through a tornado, largely because the Holy Spirit had been preparing him beforehand. Here is what he wrote, about the moment he realized that he was actually going to be inside the tornado:

“At this point, I feel like I should confess that I was terrified, but the truth is that I wasn’t really scared. Events were unfolding too quickly for me to feel much fear. Besides, I had been talking to God for forty minutes about my ability to survive in any circumstance. So, rather than fear, I felt this adrenaline rush and this intense sense of challenge…

The rumble was very loud by now, and I heard cars honking, metal screeching, and transformers exploding. Dude, I said jokingly to myself, you’re in a tornado. This is even bigger than Backpacker Magazine. You’re gonna be on Oprah.

It sounds flippant now, but at the time, humor was my way of staying in control of my emotions, and it worked. Panic is the number one killer in survival situations. Presence of mind, a sense of purpose, and even humor are often the very elements that determine who will live and who will die in the midst of a disaster. By talking to God, by looking for a lesson to be shared with others, and by kidding myself, I was able to stay calm and to act smart. By the grace of God, staying calm and acting smart probably kept me alive.” — David M. Young. Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

PREPAREDNESS TIP #3:  Get your head in the game. Being a Christian means that when bad things happen, we know where to turn and where to find real hope. What good can we do, if we’re running around panicking along with everyone else?

HELPFUL RESOURCE: Preparedness Now “Always strive to keep a cool head in an emergency. Remain alert and well-informed at all times. Do not allow your guard to drop unless you are in a secured environment. If properly harnessed, fear can serve you well during an emergency, but you must learn to control it.” Aton Edwards, Preparedness Now, p 43.

This is my last post in this series.

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