January 22, 2016

Preparedness

A major winter storm, with a predicted two feet of snow, is poised to hit Washington DC this weekend. As a weatherman discussed the nor’easter with the TV anchor he said, “People are stocking up on food…but what are they going to do with all that food when the power goes out and there’s no way to cook.” It is interesting what each of us think is important when faced with a situation that is out of our norm. Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to spread the good news and had he left them to their own devises one can only imagine what they would have thought was important to pack for the journey. Jesus removed any ideas of preparedness the disciples might have had when he said, “Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep” (Matt 10:9-10 NIV). 

2 comments:

Steve Corey said...

Gail;

-----Errors grow in the hollows of the mind where there is not enough knowledge. So, one of my more favorite expressions is, “The most important thing to know at any given moment is the situation you’re in.” The more you mentally poke and analyze your situation, the more aspects of it you find filled with risk, some of which demands immediate attention. Other risk is less noticeable, even hidden. And sprinkled amongst all the risk are even a few opportunities.
-----But this TV anchor has demonstrated the usefulness of knowing your situation. Folks in the big cities without power are put in some pretty dire straights when nature reclaims their living space. They can alleviate the need to cook by buying canned, ready-to-eat foods (and a couple can openers.) They can fix the no-water problem by buying bottled water. But being stacked and packed many, many, many stories on top of each other having toilies needing water to flush it away, after washing the canned beans down with bottled water there comes the more looming problem of just where to uncork. And the longer the power outage lasts, the worse that problem becomes.
-----I can not relate to that situation, because I’m not in it. I chose not to live in town, but to live in the sticks where finding a place to do emergency uncorking is no problem at all.
-----Another situation I explore just for the fun of it is the same difficulty the Hebrews had wandering in the desert. Their duty was to go outside the camp. But how far outside? This becomes a really important question anywhere you might live within the camp. If you live in the heart of it, how far do you have to walk to get to the edge of it, there being over a million people in the camp? Your walk would be about one-third of a mile if each of the million people had no more than ten square feet of space (slightly more than 3x3, or just enough room to stand comfortably at less than arm‘s length distance.) That’s packing them like sardines. So everyone being spaced more realistically, you would need to walk nearly a mile from the heart of the camp to go uncork.
-----That’s a big concern for those living in the heart of the camp, because a mile is a long ways, especially if your constitution has gotten a bit viscous lately. That walk would become absolutely nightmarish with the added pressure caused by a can of beans. And it gets even worse realizing you gotta carry a shovel, because Moses says you gotta bury it.
-----So, would the concern be alleviated any by camping on the edge of the crowd? Of course not! Just how far do you think the 125,000 or so traveling nearly a mile from the inner part of your quadrant carrying those shovels are going to shuffle past your tent before the viscosity of their situation overcomes them? Not very far. And that 125,000 are shuffling by every day along with the other 125,000 who live closer to the edge but don’t feel they have to go any further than the others go. Oh, boy. Worse than a dairy farm! Now I know what they died of after eating all those birds. That’ll teach ‘em for complaining about the manna.
-----The most important thing to know at any given moment is the situation you’re in. So what was the hidden opportunity in their situation for the ever optimistic thinker? If there were any makings of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trumps to be had, it would’ve been in the porta-potty business for sure!

Love you all,
Steve Corey

Gail Marvel said...

Steve,
You've taken this to a whole new level of thought!
Gail