Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Be Prepared

The above title is the motto of the Boy Scouts. It's not a bad piece of advice for non-Boy Scouts, too. I'm in the midst of preparing to teach two courses this fall, a world religions course and a Hebrew scriptures course. Syllabi's are due next week and I'm cramming to meet this deadline.

In teaching, preparation is about 80% of the work. Not being well prepared has consequences such as a boring lecture, poor discussion questions, and leaving students with the feeling, "This guy doesn't know what he's talking about."

In hiking, preparation is even more important and the consequences even direr. Running out of drinking water can lead to dehydration. Not taking extra food can result in hunger and a lack of energy. Not dressing properly can lead to sun stroke or hypothermia. Not putting a compass and map in your backpack can lead to getting lost.

Preparation is also important in our spiritual life. So how do we prepare for spirituality? One way is to read books in this field. This can help us become aware of new and different spiritual practices. Another way to prepare is to begin each day in prayer or meditation. A quiet beginning can prepare us for whatever the day brings. Still another way is to take time to reflect on the question, "What feeds my soul?"

So much of our daily life is spent in preparing for what lay ahead. Being well prepared can make all the difference.

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