Having recently relocated (almost two years now) to Florida, I have come to a much better understanding of what it means to prepare for a hurricane. Having grown up in northern climates, I was accustomed to blizzard preparations and tornado drills, but never had the “privilege” of preparing for a hurricane. I’m still learning but getting better, especially after figuring out that waiting until the last minute is almost a guarantee that I won’t get everything finished in need to get finished. But today’s blog post isn’t about hurricanes.
It’s about preparing for the storms of life. The older I get, the more I understand why Christ chose weather storms to express His love and protection for us. As human begins we have learned through experience that if we don’t have the supplies or skills we need to weather the storm, it could have fatal consequences. The storms of life are no different. In fact, they are even worse because the storms of life don’t threaten our physical health, but our very soul is at risk when we are not prepared.
Think about how you prepare for bad weather. Besides purchasing the needed supplies like batteries and extra food, you need to be properly trained how to behave. You need a proper mental state to weather a storm. You need to have patience to seek shelter and remain there until the weather has past. You need to understand the “signs” of what is coming. I remember watch for green calm skies which signal a coming tornado. The same is true for the storms of life. Your soul needs to be prepared to weather the storms of life.
We need physical supplies for our home altar so that we can pray and bless our homes.
We need to learn how to pray by having and using an Orthodox Prayer Book.
We need to learn how to live by having and listening to a Spiritual Father.
We need to learn how to understand the “signs” of what is coming and avoid temptations.
We need to learn how to seek shelter and come to Church services.
If we take the time to properly prepare our soul for the storms of life, just like bad weather, we will better get through the storm without losing our cool, and we will increase our chances at surviving. If taking the time in advance to save our physical life before a hurricane is wise, isn’t it that much wiser to take the time to prepare our soul for a much greater storm? If we aren’t prepared for a hurricane, we may lose all our earthly possessions, but if we aren’t spiritually prepared for life, we risk losing our eternal soul.