Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preparation is Key

My dad is an amazing man. He’s 87 years old and SHARP. He can still kick his leg in the air and touch his toe. His lye hominy, succotash, and hot water cornbread are delicious and can’t be matched! He knows every word of “’Twas the Night before Christmas”—and recites it with great emotion every year. He’s serious. He puts his best foot in EVERYTHING he does.

One thing I have learned from my dad is the importance of preparation. John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” Henry Hartman said, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” My father is the embodiment of preparation. He is always READY.

On any given day you can find him in his room studying his Bible, reading a newspaper, or watching the news to keep up with current events. You can talk to him about almost anything, and he will have something intelligent to say about it. He’s charismatic and his demeanor attracts people to him. You can’t help but admire him and listen when he speaks. You care because it is obvious that he cares.

He shares knowledge about things most people are too busy to think about. On Thanksgiving, for example, my family and I cooked at my parents’ house. I asked my dad to say the prayer. We gathered around the table, starving to say the least, and before he prayed he gave a lengthy speech about the origin of Thanksgiving. None of us expected it…but he had his speech prepared and he delivered it, enlightening the young and reminding the old about where it all began. I appreciated it.

When it comes to money matters, he is on top of things. He reads every statement and hops on discrepancies right away. When tax time comes he is able to give accurate records to his preparer so that all she has to do is plug in his numbers and things go fairly smooth.

When he goes on vacation, his bags are packed neatly and efficiently. I don’t think he’s ever forgotten anything he NEEDED for a trip. His tickets are in hand and he is always on time for his flights.

When called to give accounts for any choices or decisions he’s made, he’s right there—documentation in hand—READY.

He has been in the ministry for over 53 years. In the 28 years that I’ve known him, there hasn’t been a time that he brought a message that he didn’t first prepare. I won’t say that every message he preached had the entire congregation shouting and running around the church, but I will say that the subjects had been given a great deal of thought, attention, and prayer.

My dad knocks out the stressful situations life throws him by being prepared. He enjoys the uplifting situations life sends his way because he is prepared.

One of my goals is to take my dad’s example and be better prepared for whatever comes my way. Preparation is key. And today I make the conscious decision to stay READY.

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