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The prepared life

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

—1 Peter 1:13


Preparation used to be a significant motivator for me. The last decade or so has dulled my edge— I've allowed strongholds of laziness, neglect, and outright sin to be built into my life. Reflection on Scripture and on the recent events of my own life suggests that the time for preparation is at hand.

In fact, it has always been so, for all Christians, since our Lord's departure until He comes again. Scripture couldn't be more consistent or clear on the primacy of this point. I long to rededicate myself to this end.

In my life, this will mean the implementation of discipline, of structure, even of routine. Sometimes I balk at such things. They exist, however, to maximize and direct my freedom rather than to restrain it. I'm not looking to fill my time, but to be deliberate with it. Ensuring that I have the margin in time and resources to deal with whatever may come is essential to being prepared to respond to whatever God may bring into my life.

My hope is set firmly on the day approaching, on His coming, on the restoration of shalom, on the fullest realization of His kingdom. In the meantime, I must live as a citizen and ambassador of that kingdom, an envoy to a broken world He has already invaded and won. My gaze must be set first upward, then outward.

There's such clutter: in my head, in my heart, in my life. Little to none of it has any place in the life of a man preparing. May God give me the strength to take out the garbage, cut out the excess– to live a life lean and large and full.

Heard it said that eternal life refers not merely to the quantity of the lives of God's children, but also to the quality of those lives. God forgive me for ever settling for less (and by the blood of Christ, He has done so). I'm excited to begin anew, to try the simple things that contribute to a prepared life: praying more honestly, humbly, and frequently, immersing myself in Scripture more completely, investing in others more lovingly, maintaining the details of my own life more diligently and joyfully.

Example: tonight I shall cook. I haven't really cooked in years. It's time to be real, and that means getting back in grateful touch with His provision for me, participating in His blessing.

Our duty is to become more ourselves, not less.

—Thomas Merton

Comments

Thank you

And when we less, it is very hurtful for both as He indeed with me. I feel His presence in my head, in my heart, in my life in each moment. To be less ourselves is to be apart from the ray of light coming from above, from Him. So the choice is here to stay in the ray and be under the power of Light or to minish untill you are not able to participate in His blessings upon you, to participate in His divine thought about you. And that is why I think Thomas Merton says that it is our duty, for He loves us, He thinks of us.
merton. . . isn't he the greatest?