Are You Ready?

No one is ever ready when I would like them to be. Around here, when I say, “get your shoes on, it’s time to go” I’m often met with grumbling, or a frantic race through the house for that something to bring along in the car. It doesn’t seem to matter that I gave a five minute warning, or that I’m already standing at the door with purse and keys in hand–nobody’s ready, and so until they are prepared for action, we’re not going anywhere.

The other day as I read 1 Peter 1, I noticed this little line, that though I’ve read it before, didn’t leap out at me until that day–

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self‑controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:13 NIV84

Prepare your minds for action–I wondered about what that sort of preparedness looks like. I’m whipping through a busy season these days between homeschooling, coordinating MOPS, writing and trying to get back to running again, there’s a lot of physical action happening, but my mind?–honestly, things are a mess up there. I know when I put the peanut butter in the refrigerator and the milk in the pantry, my mind is a slush-box. I need to breathe. I need to find space. I need to prepare my mind.

A distracted, overwhelmed mind is not prepared for action.

So how do we do this? After all, we live in a world that never stops turning. If you get online in the middle of the night, people are still up, shopping, facebooking, tweeting, how do we clear out the clutter so we can be prepared?

For me, this looks a little like this; I start my day with the Hello Mornings challenge, where I spend time in the word and in fellowship with others who are also rising before the sun to get a seat at Jesus’ side. This helps more than words can say.

If I did nothing else, to help ready my mind, this one thing would be enough, if I used my time wisely in the morning.

I’ve also been trying to be still before the Lord, to sit down, with my eyes closed, without reading, or writing, or even praying, but to literally just be still before Him. I invite Him to come be with me during this time, and then I wait–hopefully without falling asleep! This is a new challenge I am working through, but it is rewarding when I actually do it.

I am not doing that well at either of these practices right now, because I am so busy I am easily distracted by my teetering to-do list, but I’m trying.

Control yourself

The other part of that verse that spoke to me was this,  “be self-controlled”. While I’d love to say that I am the model for self-control, I know that would be a bold lie. While I have pretty good discipline with certain areas of my life, I still lack self-control over other areas, and they continue to be stumbling blocks for me. One is my temper. I have a short fuse. I wish to the moon and back it weren’t so, but I do. I am working on it, God has been working on me on it. But some days I just struggle to keep my composure and when I look at the triggers, often times, my lack of self control, is directly connected to not having a mind that is read for action.

When my brain is overloaded with tasks and things that need to be remembered–when I’m feeling overwhelmed, my patience becomes even less.

If we lived as Peter says here, with minds ready for action, controlling ourselves might not seem so difficult. Perhaps living with our minds quieter, and more focused on what is happening in this moment, we would be able to fully engage ourselves in a way that better reflects the joy and hope we have in Christ.

What do you think? How do you keep your mind prepared for action? Is your struggle for self-control ever linked to your mind being unprepared?


9 Responses to Are You Ready?
  1. Larri
    September 9, 2012 | 6:15 am

    Be still. Ooh, that’s a toughie for me! Thank you for the reminder to just be still. Just ‘be’. Honestly, I have a very hard time sitting in the quiet. That’s why I crave my early morning time. It prepares me for whatever the day has in store for me. Great post, Kris! Happy Sunday!

    • kris
      September 9, 2012 | 1:17 pm

      Yes, me too Larri. I have no where near mastered this idea of just sitting still before the Lord. It’s really quite challenging! But, when I do it, when I am able (by His strength and my obedieince) He always show up. Always. I am so thankful for the HelloMornings challenge that both encourages me and teaches me about preparation and erst, quietness and faithfulness. Really, I cannot imagine starting my days any other way. Thanks for stopping by, it means SO much. XO

  2. Tammy Perlmutter
    September 9, 2012 | 12:52 pm

    Thanks for this, Kris! I’m attempting the Hello Mornings Challenge, but it’s become more like a hell of a morning challenge:) My mind is so fragmented too these days. Logistics, a special needs kid, grief over the loss of a friend, transitioning into a new job, the potential of a teacher’s strike starting TONIGHT!

    And the temper. Yes, I’m lacking self-control there too. I think that one is really hard for women, especially moms, to admit to. To confess. I get angry. Sometimes really angry. Sometimes I take it out on Phoenix when it has nothing to do with her. Sometimes it has everything to do with her but that still doesn’t make it right.

    I think my lack of self-control has everything to do with an unprepared mind. John Piper says that all sin is rooted in unbelief. My anger is often directly connected to impatience. Things aren’t going the way I want them to, when I want them to.

    He has this to say about impatience:
    “Impatience is a form of unbelief. It’s what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God’s timing or the goodness of God’s guidance. It springs up in our hearts when our plan is interrupted or shattered. The opposite of impatience is not a glib denial of loss. It’s a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience, and to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience–to wait in his place, and go at his pace.”

  3. Deb
    September 9, 2012 | 1:37 pm

    “A distracted, overwhelmed mind is not prepared for action.”

    So true Kris, I wonder how often I am distracted and overwhelmed by the unimportant. Too often, I’m afraid. Thanks for sharing this and for pointing us toward the Good Morning Challenge.

    Hope you are enjoying a blessed day!

    • kris
      September 9, 2012 | 8:55 pm

      Yes, me too, Deb. Too often is right. Praying we both lay it down and find peace and rest in Him–that He would make us ready and able to face whatever comes.

      Thanks so much for stopping by here today. God bless you.

  4. Barbie
    September 10, 2012 | 7:42 pm

    Such a great reminder to be still, so that I would be prepared for action. Even when I am still, my mind is going 100 miles an hour. I have a pad of paper during my quiet time so I can dump those things from my brain, but still, I yearn for stillness.

    • kris
      September 12, 2012 | 3:58 pm

      I’m really slow to learn this lesson myself, Barbie. I’m coming around. Thank God for His grace and patience with me as He grows and teaches me. Praying for you, my friend. 😉

  5. Jennifer
    September 11, 2012 | 11:02 am

    Kris, this soooo good! Thank you! Can’t wait to share it. 🙂

    • kris
      September 12, 2012 | 3:59 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer. I am so glad you found something of value here, thank you for sharing it. You bless me my friend, always!