It strikes me that as a prepper, whatever your level of commitment and however you become involved in prepping, that we all go through various feelings and stages. I have pondered recently – in light of unnecessary lockdowns, “mandatory” face masks, and threats of imposing questionable vaccines – that one might interpret that there are five stages of “being”. These are my Five C’s. Let me explain:
The first is being challenged. This is the starting point when you are challenged by a moment or thought, an action or a reaction, to an event that takes you out of your comfort zone into a situation you were not prepared for. You were challenged by it and it made you start to think differently. You looked at the world in a way that you had not considered before. We all experienced this as preppers. It may have been a local, national or world-wide event. It might have been an ordinary week; it might have been the very opposite and felt like the world was crashing. From being burgled and a house fire, to economic ruin or a worldwide pandemic. It was nevertheless a challenge, a challenge that caught you off guard. For some individuals it affects them slightly, for others, it shakes the very core of their being. The challenge however, was not intended to be a passing moment; it was intended to be a rite of passage.
This is when being convicted takes place. The moment after the challenge, whether minutes or a longer period of time, you are flooded with confronting questions. You ask yourself what took you so long? Why didn’t I get here sooner? When will there be other moments like this in the future? Who else thinks like I do? Where am I meant to be and is that going to happen sooner than I expected? Equally important you ask yourself; will I be prepared for the next time, will I be able to learn what needs to be learned, will I be able to amass the proper resources, will I be able to withstand what’s coming, and will I be understood by those around me? The conviction then is not sourced by guilt, but of not adopting this perspective sooner.
However, after being challenged, after the conviction of it, you begin being comforted. You are comforted in your newfound perspective and understanding of what prepping is and why it is so important. You are comforted to know that there are others who think the same way and comforted in your revised sense of security. It is not an immutable comfort; that will be discussed later. It is however, a comfort in seeing beyond the hill, reading between the lines, and no longer being enslaved to ideologies that are embedded in all spheres of life. The comfort then is knowing that today will not be like yesterday, for you are prepared for tomorrow.
Then there is being courageous. Being courageous comes from being challenged, convicted for a season, then comforted in knowing that there is a means and way of overcoming the growing problems of the world. It emboldens a prepper, but it should also humble them. It should also ensure that they do not equate courageousness as meaning being an isolationist, that is, a lone wolf. Community matters. It does not mean that one should not extend themselves to their neighbour. They may have not been privileged in being challenged like you once were. They have not yet tasted the sweetness of conviction that brings about change to be comforted and courageous. There is nothing courageous about the prepper who stands by and let evil prosper, who does nothing There is nothing courageous about the selfish prepper who sees being selfless as a weakness. Courage is not achieved or seen by someone who is alone.
Let us intentionally digress before addressing the fifth point. Life is seasonal. There is:
“…an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
These words were written thousands of years ago by a king called Solomon, whom history records as being the wisest of men on earth, reflecting on his life in a book entitled Ecclesiastes (3:1-8). This perspective of everyday life is invaluable to the prepper and should be employed as creed for how to always be prepared but understanding that nothing is perfect.
This brings me to the final “C”. Christ. The Messiah. Known as Jesus or Yeshua. He is perfect and it is His spirit that inspired the words I quoted above. It is my wholehearted belief that the prepper who knows Him has everything and the one who doesn’t, doesn’t have anything. It is He who might have been the one that sent the challenge you first encountered. He certainly allowed it, for His is sovereign. He may also have been the one that convicted you. This is because there may have been sin in your life. Perhaps you were too apathetic, too materialistic, too self-centred? Did you respond to the call? If you are called by Him, then the comfort that follows will continue from this life and into the next. The courage you see growing you, is one of many godly characteristics he cultivates in your heart.
The greatest comfort for the prepper, is knowing that God is sovereign and that He will both provide and preserve you. He will protect you, beyond this world. As a prepper, I don’t do so because of a lack of faith in God, but rather, the conviction that it is a principle taught in the Scriptures and that while I have been entrusted with resources to live, I am to trust Him as the source of my life. Many preppers believe that because they are in control that they are comforted, but do not get them mixed up; there is no such thing as being in control of all things and even when you believe you are, the comfort is temporary. As such, while there is a level of comfort that is true of all preppers, the purest comfort comes from the One who is the divine Comforter.
Scripture speaks often regarding the art of prepping. Genesis 41:47-49 speaks of Joseph, in being given a vision of a forthcoming famine, stored up grain for seven years during a bountiful harvest, in order to endure seven years of no produce. The book of Proverbs, written mostly by King Solomon, speaks often about the topic. In observing nature, it was said “Go to the ant, you lazy one, observe its ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer, or ruler, prepares its food in the summer and gathers its provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, you lazy one? When will you arise from your sleep? (Proverbs 6:6-9). Also, “There is precious treasure and oil in the home of the wise, but a foolish person swallows it up” (Proverbs 21:20). Later, the teacher adds, that a “prudent person sees evil and hides himself; But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12). We are told to “[d]ivide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth” (Ecclesiastes 11:2). Christ also taught that “which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). One of his earliest disciples wrote that “if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
Prepping is a gift from God. However, never substitute the blessing with the Blesser. Blessings, come and go. Food and water, provisions and resources, they all come and go. However, the greatest of preppers are those who have not prepared their present and future by their hands, but who have had their past, present and future prepared for them by the God of all things. I am comforted that I have prepped enough for my journey on earth; I am even more comforted knowing that He has “prepped” my soul an eternity in His presence.
Know God, make Him known, and know that eternity is in His hands.