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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Spiritual Aspects of Preparing for Catastrophe

Some have said to me, in all seriousness, that planning and preparing for catastrophe is not something they would do because of their faith that God would provide for them in their hour of need. And if He didn't, then it would obviously be His will that they should suffer.

Faith in God is a wonderful and uplifting thing--indeed, I believe it is the fulcrum for all else that happens in this worldly plain. But I have to also believe that folks who espouse total reliance upon divine providence simply have not given the matter enough thought and are rather lazily and mistakenly using such an explanation as justification for personal "blind spots" that cause their failure to practice prudence in their approach to the future.

Now, I'm not about to play theologian here, nor will I quote scripture on the matter, out of respect for those here who do not hold the same spiritual outlook that I do.

So I will simply ask a question here ... if you are someone who feels that preparing for potentially difficult times is God's concern, and that He will provide for you as the need arises, then why do you do anything at all for yourself such as earn an income and budget it for anticipated monthly demands? What exactly is the difference between working to survive when things are easy and pleasant, building and maintaining a comfortable life ... and approaching life differently if things have the potential to get tougher on you?

Is it not the personally responsible thing to also work toward enabling your survival tomorrow in case of disaster, increasing your chance of making a fairly comfortable recovery if you had the means beforehand to have made preparations?

Would you really want to have to test your God, and your faith in Him, to literally deliver you out of the depths of any and all misfortunes that befall you?

I have to believe that it's not only common sense to try to anticipate reasonable possibilities in our future, but a responsibility ... and that whenever possible, we should take reasonable mitigating actions in that regard as well.

All Faiths

There are some faiths that practice physical preparedness as a basic tenet of their belief structures. There are others that embrace it peripherally. It seems most religions or denominations choose not to directly address the matter, focusing instead on encouraging their believers to prepare themselves spiritually for their futures.

Whatever your belief system, I doubt your cleric or advisor would tell you NOT to be prudent and wise in your worldly living. Worldly and spiritual realms are inextricably connected on this plain of existence. In fact, whether you embrace your spiritual side or you disbelieve, a very key focus for all of us is about managing all manner of risks in our development as beings who dwell in the here and now. But if we put any value on our future, we must consciously look in that direction.

Tying it all together--physical, mental, spiritual--can actually help simplify your life. I have to believe that one could express a reasonable, generalized philosophy, acceptable in most circles, in this way: "Living responsibly is about preparing for the future and strengthening your full being against risk and danger."

Preparing spiritually without any concerns for the physical would seem to be a dangerous and vulnerable approach to your tomorrows.

So too is storing up physical essentials and treasures without proper attention to spiritual and moral matters.

The ideal, full-bodied approach to the future is to think about all aspects of who you are and honestly assess what your weaknesses could be in light of unpleasant occurences--in the physical or upon your spiritual and mental well-being. Then gradually work to minimize your vulnerabilities. In so doing, you can't help but maximize your chances of coming out a winner on the other side.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

some more incredible and highly valuable insight JC!

i'm not religious myself, so i really respect the way you handled the subject...

hopefully more persons of faith will come to realize what you've so eloquently stated and will deal with what i see as the greatest downfall of all too many believers - their use of "God's will" as an excuse not to do anything to prepare themselves for the multitude of unpleasant situations that could occur at any time...

i know way too many who are of this mindset...

hopefully, they'll 'see the light', and will realize the hypocrisy and fallibility of this way of thinking...

to me, there's nothing more empowering than becoming prepared for events that will inconvenience us at best and devastate us at worst...

and from a spiritual perspective, it's hard to argue that God's will would be for anyone to just sit idly by and do nothing - especially when it was God's will that they became aware of the plethora of preparation options available to them through the Refuge...

my .02... :)