Be pre­pared

The Covington News - - Religion - JAN MCCOY COLUM­NIST Rev. Jan McCoy is the as­so­ciate pas­tor of Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist Church in down­town Cov­ing­ton. She may be reached at jan.

Un­der­stand this: If a home­owner knew ex­actly when a bur­glar was com­ing, he would keep watch and not per­mit his house to be bro­ken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

Matthew 24:43-44 (New Liv­ing Trans­la­tion)

“Be Pre­pared.” For years, I was a leader in the Scout­ing pro­gram, and I re­mem­ber many say­ings that are still use­ful even now that I am no longer a Scout leader. The Boy Scout Motto was one of them. I can­not count how many times I have quoted this motto, or at least thought it, in my years of min­istry. Un­ex­pected things hap­pen, and it’s al­ways best to “be pre­pared” for any sit­u­a­tion that may arise.

For ex­am­ple, I carry an um­brella in my car be­cause I want to be pre­pared in case of a sud­den down­pour, which we all know can hap­pen here in Ge­or­gia. I carry mints in my purse just in case I need to run by the hospi­tal or visit a sick church mem­ber on the spur of the mo­ment.

I carry a note pad or phone with me just in case I need to jot down a phone num­ber or write a ser­mon out­line while I am de­tained in a doc­tor’s of­fice. I carry a direc­tory in case I need a phone num­ber or ad­dress while I am away from the of­fice. I fre­quently quote my grand­mother’s say­ing, “It’s bet­ter to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” This was her way of say­ing, “Be pre­pared.”

The Bi­ble tells us to “be pre­pared” as well. In the teachings of Je­sus, he gives the ex­am­ple of the home­owner be­ing pre­pared for the thief. If a home­owner knew ex­actly when the bur­glar would come, he would be wait­ing and would not al­low his house to be bro­ken into. Many things hap- pen in life that catch us off guard. This week, I at­tended a funeral for some­one who was ready to go, but whose time came too quickly for those of us left be­hind. As we cel­e­brated the life of Rev. Dan Brokaw, I re­mem­bered this mes­sage of Je­sus: “Be Pre­pared!” Dan was pre­pared to meet the Lord, much more pre­pared than we were for him to de­part this life. Dan’s en­tire life had been his min­istry, and part of that min­istry was car­ing for his friends and fam­ily.

He lived ev­ery day to the fullest and gave his heart un­re­servedly to the peo­ple of his church, his fam­ily, and his community. Dan served his church and his community faith­fully and well, and the words “Well done, my child” fit him per­fectly.

The end of life comes far too early for some, and we are left with unan­swered ques­tions and bro­ken hearts. Death is a thief that comes too quickly and unan­nounced for us, so we are re­minded to take the words of Je­sus to “be pre­pared” se­ri­ously. I was re­cently re­minded by a fel­low writer to live life as if you had one year left to live. Get things in or­der be­cause the thief will come… even­tu­ally to all of us.

What do you need to do to “be pre­pared?”

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