Religious Reflections

Be prepared - don't be caught without your survival kit

by Michael Hughes

I have been Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 625 for 24 years. Long before that I was a Boy Scout.

I actually started in scouting back in 1953. One of the things that has stayed with me from the beginning was the Boy Scout motto: "Be prepared." From my very first homemade "first aid kit" in a metal flip top bandaid box to backpacks, to brief cases, to jacket pockets-I am prepared.

The first order of preparation is my Swiss Army knife with its scissors, leather punch, tweezers, can opener, saw, screwdrivers (regular and Phillips), as well as knife blades. The second order of preparation ismy cell phone with camera and flashlight and internet connectivity. My vehicle is 4-wheel drive, and in it is a survival kit for nearly any situation. I have rarely had to use it, but it is there if I ever must.

I thought that I was perhaps a little overboard until I met with some other guys from the church and discovered that they had as many different flashlights in their vehicles as I did. I have between six and 10, depending on how I am using them. I have LED flashlights for long term use and I have Xenon for long distance brightness. I have a little pocket LED (in addition to the cell phone LED) and a 10-million candlepower light that I have recently been using to chase away crows from the tree in the back of the house. It works great!

I have all the bells and whistles (literally) that I need. Not only do I carry a GPS on trips, but I have Onstar and an onboard compass and temperature monitor. Of course, the vehicle also carries space blankets, a large first aid kit, water, food, emergency flares, and reflectors and lights and tools, fire starters, CB radios, GMRS walkie talkies, fire extinguisher...I'm ready for an emergency.

Now that I think about it, my vehicle is just one big emergency kit. Oh, did I mention batteries? My kids know me as the battery man. "Need a battery? Ask Dad." And now one of my flashlights is a windup kind. It doesn't need batteries.

A few years ago I gave the kids an emergency "flashing" red triangle light to set out behind the car if they ever had a problem. Tim and Stacy used it one dark night on the Palouse when they had a flat tire. A local farmer happened by at just the right time to help them. He said, "Your light really works great. I could see it from a long way off." Now, that just warms an old Boy Scout's heart!

Over the years, being prepared has become a part of who I am. Whatever situation I encounter, from sewing up a hole in a shirt to towing someone out of a ditch, I want to be prepared to help.

Perhaps, that is why I am a pastor as well. Last Sunday we studied a passage that contained this verse from Hebrews (9:27-28 NIV): "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."

I understand that God has given us one time to go around on this earth and we need to be wise in how we use it. The Bible is our survival kit that prepares us for the judgment time. Just like I want to help people survive in this life, I want to help them get ready for the next. The Bible says judgment is coming for all of us. But those who receive the forgiveness found in Christ actually await salvation instead-deliverance from judgment through the cross of Christ.

My survival/emergency gear is too heavy for me to carry around. I must keep it in the vehicle.

But the spiritual survival gear that Christ provides is carried in your heart. It weighs virtually nothing, but it lasts for eternity and it will never get lost or misplaced.

I have invested a fair amount of money in the gear I have bought. But the spiritual survival kit that Jesus provides is free and never needs to be replaced.

The Apostle Peter was the first one to share this "spiritual survival kit" in a public way. He said: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:38-39).

Listen to an old Boy Scout: "Be prepared" is a good motto-for now and forever. Don't be caught unprepared.

??Michael Hughes is the pastor of the Sunnyside First Baptist Church.

1 - Bob Story • March 10, 2006 • 4:08 PM

Proofed_________ • Corrected & Placed in Folder_____________


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