o-backpacking-backpack-facebook“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” -Denis Waitley 

As a kid, I remember when I would prepare to head off to some camp or my grandparents’ house. My mother would always be on top of me, asking, “Did you pack this?” or exclaiming, “Don’t forget that!” I usually replied with, “Mom, I got it! Relax!” On the way to my destination, I would then realize I forgot something and either would have to turn around or stop by the nearest Walmart. Now, I’ve finally come to the age where I no longer believe my mother is just an annoying burden on my life, but actually is much wiser than I am and always has my best interest in mind.

Many times, on this journey, we forget to pack the necessities we need in order to both conquer the trials the Lord has in store for us ahead and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us today. Without these tools, we find ourselves wandering the paths of life blindly, leaving us vulnerable to stumbling off the cliff of despair or following false guides to our own oblivion.

Jesus illustrates a similar scenario in Matthew 25:1-10,

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.” 

This month, I am going to share with you the tools that I have found so that, instead of being like the five foolish virgins, you will be prepared for both the battering waves and magnificent beauty you come across in your own story.

Let us dive in together!