I admit, I’ve had days, even weeks in which I am overwhelmed by everything that I still need to do. When that happens I just take a mental break or I’ll go to the thrift store and find something fabulous that assists me in my preparedness efforts Whether it’s a “time out” or retail therapy, we all need to take the time to unwind. But the whole “why bother” question is actually very easy to answer because your “why bother” answer will be no different tomorrow than it is today.
Even with the great technological advances, relative prosperity, and all of the other blessings we enjoy today there are still those mornings in which I just don’t want to get out of bed. Why bother answering the e-mail from so and so if they’re just going to argue? Why bother writing another article if it’s just going to bring on more “hate mail” or “no one is listening anyway.” But as we all know, the whole “why not” excuses we come up with just don’t measure up to the proactive way we live our lives today. That won’t change when we’re in the midst of a serious, long-term crisis. The reasons why we prepare for tomorrow are the same reasons why we live for today.
The fact that you’re still alive and kicking today says that you don’t quit no matter what life throws at you. I know that because I know that as a part of life we are blessed with resistance. Any weightlifter knows that lifting a 3 pound weight everyday isn’t going to get us anywhere. Once we’ve mastered that, none of us would be content to do it everyday. Instead, one day we’d got to do our weight training, look at the flimsy thing and ask ourselves “why bother?” Ah…a clue. If we’re asking ourselves “why bother” it may be that we’re not feeling alive enough, or challenged enough; we’ve come to a point in our life in which we’re complacent or apathetic. The only cure for which is to push ourselves a little bit further.
Why bother? Well, that answer will be different for each one of us. It may be that we cant’ bear the thought of watching our children or grandchildren do without. It may be that we have deep religious roots that have convinced us that we’ll suffer eternal consequences by not being prepared. It may be that we can’t fathom just sitting by watching our neighbors and fellowmen suffer needlessly knowing that we could have done something for the last 10 years to mitigate that suffering. I suspect that for me, all of those answers play a role in my purpose for preparing for tomorrow. But there’s also a peace and a confidence that comes knowing that I’m living as self-reliant on my own two feet today—with God’s help of course. As such, when the vicious winds whip up around me, I have a protection, peace and safety unlike anything that I can buy at the store; I can’t borrow it from someone else; and I can’t give it to anyone else either no matter how sad it makes me to watch them struggle.
Furthermore, I think this question plagues us occasionally because we underestimate our value to the lives of others. I took some flack from a good friend of mine when I started displaying the Preparedness Pro logo with the silhouette figure wearing a cape. She didn’t realize that not only ARE we all super heroes to those around us, but we all NEED to bear the mindset and commitment to be such a person to those around us. To live beneath that realization is to deny what greatness we’re really capable of. That denies the reality of physics, frankly. You might just as easily deny that there’s a ripple effect in a lake when you toss a stone in it. It may be just a small stone, but it’s ripples go on and on. The law of physics teaches us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Apathy IS an action. Preparedness, self-reliance, living within our means, being self-sufficient—all of these facets have an equal and opposite reaction. You may not see it. You may feel like you’re all alone. You may feel like the man who’s throwing starfish back in the ocean one at a time, but you’re only seeing a very, very small part of the picture.
Several months ago we held one of our Feminine Fortress rape prevention courses. We charged just enough to cover our overhead. It wasn’t a huge turn out, and I could barely walk the next day because every time I teach one of these classes my fibromyalgia just seizes up in rebellion, and adding insult to injury, I dragged my hubby away from his work for the day to help me out and so he had to work that much harder the rest of the week. In other words, on the surface, it might be easy for me to ask “why bother?” But I’ve done this enough to know that God makes my pitiful little efforts worth something every time I am willing to put in the work, and He does so in such a glorious fashion—beyond what I could ever dream of. Later that month I was stunned with an e-mail I received from someone I had never even taught! She had a sister who attended my class who then went home excitedly to tell her sister about all that she had learned. Her sister was trying to get out of an abusive relationship with a boyfriend, but each time led to more physical altercations and like abuse. But because of her sister coming home and sharing with her what she had learned, this gal was writing me to thank me for what I did because she finally made a very well thought out, strategic move, to leave her boyfriend. There was no altercation, she said, “because I held my head up high. He knew I was serious and he knew that I was not willing to put up with his physical or verbal abuse this time.” My point being, sometimes you may just feel like the little pebble with your efforts when looked at in the grand scheme of things. “How could my 300 pounds of wheat make any difference when there’s an entire nation starving?” I think that’s very likely the same thought of the persons who offered up their paltry loaves and fishes when surrounded by the thousands of people around them, but we all know how that story ended. There may be days when you feel like nothing more than the pebble in the massive lake but remember, those ripples won’t happen without you.
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