Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Unforeseen Circumstances

This weeks topic comes on the tail of a lesson I taught last Sunday in church. Usually, for one hour of our meeting block, the women attend "Relief Society" where we have a lesson, and the men attend their "Priesthood" meeting where they have a lesson on the same subject. But on the 5th Sunday of the month, when that occurs, we combine. It was the Relief Society's turn to teach, and since I'm the president, that responsibility fell to me. I knew exactly what I wanted to teach about. I taught about "Self-reliance".

There are several areas of self-reliance, including: physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual. Whenever possible, a person should first rely on themselves to meet these needs. Preparation is the key to self-reliance. For example, you cannot hike to safety in a canyon if you aren't physically fit. The preparation for that life-saving hike must take place long before the hike begins. Similarly, you cannot wait until a family crisis to learn emotional fortitude. Waiting until it is time to register for classes isn't the best time to start saving for college. And the death bed isn't the best place to develop a relationship with God. All of these things must be worked on beforehand.

We can never see what lies before us. We don't know if an illness is just around the bend. We don't know if our employer will lay us off. But as we learn in LDS scripture: "...if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." The key to handling unforeseen circumstances is preparation.

A few years ago, my mother developed cancer. It came as quite a surprise to me, because my mother was always very strong and healthy. In her early 80's she was known to climb fences and even sled down her sister's steep driveway! But I truly believe that the reason she is alive today is because of her fitness and strength before the cancer diagnosis. She didn't foresee her illness, but her preparation saved her!

While you may not agree with our religious practice of storing a year supply of food, it would still be wise for everyone to store at least 3 months supply. If there were a natural disaster, it is highly possible that trucks containing food would not be able to even enter the city for days, or even weeks. Everyone should also have prepared some 72 hour emergency kits. Typically, a 72 hour kit contains enough food, water, and clothing for a 3 day period. In case of emergency, you can grab your kit (our's are in backpacks) and go to a safe place. Confession: My 72 hour kits need re-vamping, and probably contain clothing that wouldn't fit around my son's thigh, let alone his waist. :S The food, while still probably edible, really needs to be switched out. My goal is to get our kits back in good shape.

We do not have a crystal ball to foresee the future. But common sense, and history, tell us that the future will bring natural disasters, economic troubles, and spiritual and emotional trials. If we work now to prepare ourselves for these eventualities, we will survive what is to come. We need not fear the unforeseen.

Now go check out what the other consortium members have to say about this issue!

Rummuser, Anu, Ashkok, Gaelikka, Grannymar, Conrad, Padmum, Magpie11, and Akanksha,Will Knot, Martha the Silver Fox, Anki, and Rohit


Grannymar said...

I tested my store cupboard a couple of years ago to see how long I would last without going near a shop, it was actually more than three months - ok, I have an allergy to dairy products so not having to shop for milk etc., actually made the experiment easier.

Growing up in a large family with a wide extended family who seemed to see our home as the 'gathering place, we soon learned to do the loaves & fishes at the drop of a hat, breakages, ailments and illness were common and life and routine would change in an instant, so I came to think it was a normal part of living. What is that saying.... Nothing stays the same and the only one who will be around for all of my life is me.

Rummuser said...

Unforeseen circumstances cannot be escaped from. As you rightly point out, being prepared for them is more important and builds resilience. My post for today too builds on this theory.

Inklings said...

Well said!

Rohit said...

Wonderful post, especially paragraph two. I feel sorry seeing such a large number of people losing touch with advice like this as the only time they attend church is at birth and at death....and perhaps at weddings in between. It would serve well if more people attended such sermons at least for this kind of teaching they won't found elsewhere if not for spiritual or religious reasons.

I remember when I was a child I had this rucksack which I used to keep filled with all my "essentials" which basically included my favourite toys and a first aid kit...lots of other useless junk. Anyhow, just revived a beautiful old memory..thank you for that! :)

padmum said...

Took me back to Mauritius where we had warnings for cyclones. Each warning signalled something. Warning two would mean store water, food and candles as if a cyclone came near the island, power would go first.

I always have this running battle with my husband about storing things. I usually have two of all my favourite equipment--supposing one breaks (especially nail clippers, knives and peelers).

Really super post--I am ready anytime to sit in the pew and listen to you. God bless you.

Looney said...

I have tried to restrain my self reliance instincts somewhat recently. My problem is that there are various young around who really need to be taught to be helpful, and that sometimes means giving them an opportunity to do something. It all seems to be a bit artificial, but it is hard to teach youth about charity if everyone refuses it - except for the deadbeats.