I am pretty new to SurvivalBlog, but I daily look forward to reading what’s new and how some folks are preparing for hard times and perhaps the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). I believe in being prepared for disruptions in everyday life, both for the short term and long term. I have lived all my life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where we expect ice storms, snow drifts, and power outages that may last up to a week at a time. Folks here still raise a garden, have chickens and maybe a hog, hunt and fish, and can and preserve; most everyone has wood stoves for heating and also cooking, if need be. To many of us, it’s just our way of life and nothing special. I’m a contractor and have a small generator for the business, but I don’t generally use it at home during power outages in the winter months, unless the power is off several days. One year when our daughters were young, an ice storm took out the power for about a week. After a couple of days, the girls were really “suffering”. We had heat, kerosene lanterns, lots of canned produce from the garden as well as canned venison and fresh water for us to drink and use to flush the toilets; our refrigerated items were outside on the carport in great shape, the kids were out of school, and Mom and I were home from work for a while. I LOVED IT! However, we didn’t have electric lights, television (which they really never cared much about anyway), showers, microwaves, or the gadgets we have come to believe we can’t live without. Twenty miles away, Granny had power and the kids begged to go, so I took them. Life was good again. A few weeks later I was out in the shop when the girls came in and for the first time noticed a piece of equipment that had been there for quite some time, but they apparently hadn’t noticed it before. “Dad what is that?” my oldest asked. “Well, that’s a generator.” The look on her face was priceless; it was a mixture of anger and unbelief. “You had a generator the whole time the power was out and we didn’t use it?” It makes me laugh every time I think about it. So what was different about how Mom and I handled no power and how our girls handled it? It was just one word: contentment. We were content with our situation without power for a few days; they were not. They were not just merely discontent; they were miserable. They were not prepared mentally for a disruption in their daily routine.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked skills that will be needed if TEOTWAWKI happens will be contentment. TEOTWAWKI means the end of the world as we know it. It’s not going to be the same. I have read that folks are buying generators and storing gasoline for a grid down situation, and then they’re buying a backup generator for the backup generator along with more gas and parts so that they can continue on with the standard of living they have come accustomed to no matter how bad things get. Eventually, if the grid is down long enough, the gas will run out, the generators will break down, and you will have to find other ways to survive. I am not against having a generator; as I said, I have one myself, but can we still be content when it stops running, someone steals it, or we just run out of gas? Folks, if TEOTWAWKI happens, things may never be the same. Are we prepared mentally to do without some things, if it gets as bad as it could? If we run out of the finest in freeze-dried food, will we be able to eat what we refer to today as “road kill”? Will we be able to deal with no air conditioning, no central heat, no microwave, no cell phone, no 30-minute shower or any shower at all for that matter, no big screen TV, no fast food, or no refrigeration? The list goes on and on. Most of these things have been around less than 100 years and are not available worldwide to all people today, but most of us feel we can’t live without them.
In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul writes about contentment. Chapter 4 verses 11 and 12 say “…… for I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content. I know how both to be abased, and I know how to abound, everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Most of us know about abounding and being full but have yet to experience hunger, real hunger, or suffer need. We all may be in for a crash course in the future.
I referred to contentment as a skill because Paul said he had “learned…to be content.” All skills are learned and need to be practiced over and over. We too must learn how to be content so that if our standard of living is brought down because of some disaster on the horizon, we will be able to handle it. The amazing thing with Paul is that he was in a Roman prison when he wrote these words. He didn’t allow his circumstances to make him bitter or take away his joy. The Philippian epistle is referred to as the “joy” epistle by some Bible theologians. If things get as bad as they could, discontentment will be the root cause of a lot of the bad things that will happen– murders, thefts, suicides, et cetera. We already are seeing what discontentment can cause today. It’s in our schools, in our cities, and in our work places. Some folks are not content while having all of the good things in life. What would life during TEOTWAWKI be like for these folks? Contentment is not the only skill that will be needed, but contentment will compliment all of your other skills and make life enjoyable not just bearable. In the book of 1 Timothy chapter 6 verse 8, Paul again in his writing says, “And having food and raiment let us therewith be content”. Paul is not advocating that we only acquire the very basics in life and then give up. In Philippians Paul said he knew how to abound or to have way more than he needed, but if one day the basics are all you have be thankful and be content with what you have for that day. Here, in the United States of America, we are some of the most blessed folks on the planet. We have been spoiled rotten, as my grandmother used to say. I know many are suffering even here in America, but even our poor are better off in many ways than most folks in third world countries where a Life Straw and a Luci Light is life changing. For many of those folks TEOTWAWKI will not be a big change. Their world can’t get much worse. So how hard will it be for us to give up some or most of the blessings that we enjoy, should TEOTWAWKI happen? Well, it’s going to be hard; it’s going to be very hard. So, we need to prepare ourselves now, at least mentally, so that when we only have the basics, we will be content. And we need to not just be content but be thankful.
I have not talked about the most important basic need that we have, which is a relationship with our Creator, Savior, and God– Jesus Christ. Honestly, we can never be content without Him. If we don’t have Christ, then the only things that we do have are the things that we are going to lose if and when disaster strikes. Everything in this life is only temporary– our homes, our possessions, and even the physical bodies that we have. Life is short. Even if we live to be 150 years old, this life is still going to come to an end, whether as a result of TEOTWAWKI or a natural disaster, cancer, or peacefully at a ripe old age in our bed. The question is: Where will we spend eternity? God made man with an eternal spirit. His intention is to have us spend eternity with Him. But many, if not most, reject Him. The alternative is an eternity separated from God in a place prepared for Satan and his angels– a placed called hell and the Lake of Fire in the Bible. Don’t neglect the most important “prep” of life. The great thing is that it is free, lasts forever, can’t be stolen or lost, and there is enough available for everyone. It’s not cheap; Jesus gave his life so that we can spend eternity with Him. John 3 verse 16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” If you are not prepared for eternity, read these verses in the book of Romans and prepare to meet your Creator and Savior and spend eternity with Him where there are no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying, and no pain, (Revelation 21:4).
Romans 3:10-12, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9