GIVEN ALL the uncertainty in the world—especially now—many have decided to follow the prepper lifestyle.
At a minimum, they might stock up on water and non-perishable goods, or they buy a gas-powered generator. The more extreme preppers might invest in a remote cabin, underground bunker, or amass a stash of guns and ammo.
The term “prepper” means preparedness. Preppers want to be ready for any situation, especially disasters or extreme social / military conflicts. Some might make fun of preppers, but being prepared isn’t necessarily wrong.
What does it mean to be a spiritual prepper? How can you be spiritually prepared for anything?
Let’s look at some examples.
This is the doomsday prepper. Everything is grim and foreboding. The grouch is always looking for an excuse to point out the negative. The grouches are having a non-stop, pessimism party these days.
Their preparation model goes like this: If I always see the negative, then I can never be let down.
The smiley face
The eternal optimist never sees anything wrong and always looks on the bright side of things. Or maybe, everything’s a joke to them.
While this might be fine and cheery, it may also lead to a lack of empathy. Life isn’t always sunshine, my friend. Huge grins aren’t always welcome when we feel crappy. Maybe I just need someone to feel like crap next to me.
The smiley faced prepper thinks: If I just ignore the pain, nothing can hurt me.
Far, far away
This method invokes avoidance at all costs. Like the smiley face, being far, far away fails since it’s one-dimensional.
Their method: If I keep my distance, nothing can touch me.
This type of preparedness is much more developed and advanced. In fact, stoicism is an entire philosophy dating back centuries, and many practice it to this day.
Stoicism navigates the world in a calm, logical way based on gathered knowledge and inner strength. Self-restraint and moderation are key. The stoic also believes in the fair treatment of others. Stoics strive for courage, clarity, and integrity in day-to-day, as well as extreme circumstances. They believe we can harness our willpower to fill our lives with meaning.
The famous stoic Seneca said, “Even to live, is an act of courage.” Sounds about right, these days.
Stoicism is a very solid life vision structure, and it deserves exploration. Today’s authentic prepper movement adheres to a large slice of stoic philosophy.
What about the Christian preppers? How do they prepare for the curve balls of life?
In Jesus, we find a balance of joy, sorrow, purpose, and meaning. If we follow the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, we enter into a vibrant mix that explores the deepest human experience. While the entire Bible is our reference, Matthew 5, 6, and 7 are like a mini-handbook for life preparedness.
Unlike the stoic, empathy and feeling are primary drivers of our behavior. However, the true disciple of Jesus is not spineless. Instead, in Jesus, we are not afraid to hurt and feel. Also, we can rejoice in our weakness as it shows us how much we need God… and each other. The Spirit of God lives in us, and he is a mighty Spirit indeed, capable of transforming the broken into restored vessels of God’s grace.
Preparedness in Christ gives you meaning and depth to face the storm.
So you’re not always grouchy or negative… even when things look grim.
You don’t live with your head in the clouds. Instead, you’ve got your feet firmly planted on earth, but with an eye on heaven.
Your preparation isn’t following a list of rules or a philosophy.
Instead, you follow a person.
You follow Jesus.
He is your faith and your life. And as you get to know Jesus, he prepares you for whatever life throws at you.
And if you drop the ball, he’s there to pick you up again.
You’re not afraid of the pain. If needed, you even lean into it so you can help someone get through.
You are stronghearted. You are resilient.
The Spirit of God prepares you
Remember, the Spirit of God is a powerful force living inside you. He is the same Spirit that resurrected Jesus. Do not underestimate this. He doesn’t make you an indestructible superhero. But in the Spirit, your prayer, testimony, and praise to God are capable of generating miracles and life transformations.
So get ready. Be prepared. Pray and read your Bible every day. Be in communion with your church. These are the essential resources of the spiritually prepared.
This is a whole new level of prepping. It is preparing yourself—and the world—for the return of Christ.
The Lord said to them: Lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.
And finally, at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
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