Monday, January 23, 2012
The Reluctant Leader
Prepping can be overwhelming. As a woman, there are times that I think the majority of our preparedness efforts fall squarely on my shoulders. I make the lists, I stock the buckets, I keep the budget and rotate the inventory. I do a million little things that will ensure that my family will be well taken care of in the event of a collapse. And, I have to admit, I have been tempted, once or twice, to wonder what my husband does other than buy the cool gadgets.
One day, as I pondered these thoughts, it struck me. I am performing the duties of the Proverbs 31 woman. I am managing my husbands estate and taking care of my family. I am ensuring that I can laugh at the days to come by carefully planning and managing our preparedness efforts. I am seeing the signs of the time and acting in wisdom. But my husband's day is coming.
People naturally gravitate toward authority. When there is a fire or a car accident, the fire department is summoned. When crimes are being committed, the police are called. In the event of a medical emergency, doctors are sought. People have a natural need to be directed and cared for. And it is what we are used to. Who are people going to seek when the grid goes down? My husband. And if you are preppers, your husband. They will seek those that appear to have a handle on the situation. They will come in groups, they will come one by one, they will coming running and they will come walking. But they will come. They will need to be fed. They will need to be cared for. They will need to be led. They may need to be dispatched.
Preppers will be thrust into positions of leadership, either willingly or reluctantly. They will be the Moses' and Abrahams' of this generation. And they will lead well or lead poorly, but they will lead. The weight of the world will truly be on their shoulders. Not only will they be tasked with leading the masses into the future, they will be responsible for the direction of an entire society. They will take their positions in history standing beside the patriarchs of old.
As preppers, we not only have to prepare our stores in abundance, we have to prepare ourselves for what the future holds. Part of that preparation must be readying for the role of leadership.
One of the most difficult tasks the leaders of our families will face is conducting charity. Who do they help? How do they choose? Do they run everyone off or take anyone in who is in need? If you have been a prepper for any length of time, these are questions that you have grappled with. So have Sir Knight and I. Finally, we decided to go to the Bible to seek the answers.
First, we searched for who we do need to help. We came up with a number of people that we would be responsible for. Widows and orphans topped the list. It says in James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress". It also addresses who has a responsibility to the widows and orphans first. "But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God" and it goes on to say "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:4, 5:8).
There is exhortation after exhortation to care for an honor your father and your mother. Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16 and Leviticus 19:3 all direct us to be honoring. Joseph cared for Jacob while the famine was sore in the land of Canaan - can we do less for our parents? What if your parents are being foolish, even having been warned? Prepare for that and honor them anyway. In honoring your parents, you are pleasing your God.
The poor need to be cared for also. This must to be done with wisdom. Great discretion and understanding will be required. We are told in Proverbs 21:13 "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered". These are the people you put charity supplies aside for. This is your tithe to the Lord.
We do have to help people, but we are also called to turn some away. We have to turn away the wicked man (Proverbs 10:3, Proverbs 13:25) and the foolish man (Proverbs 21:20). There will come a time when you have to judge a man to be either poor (and feed him) or foolish (and turn him away). There are many admonitions dealing with the lazy man (Proverbs 10:4). "Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry" (Proverbs 19:15), we need not extend our abundance to such a man as this. It should be obvious, but our plenty should never be given to a thief. "Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel" (Proverbs 20:17). I have the sneaking suspicion, that for most of us, he just might end up with a mouth full of buck shot!
While there is a necessity for charity, there is also a place for commerce. Proverbs 11:26 says "People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell". It would seem prudent to buy extra with the express purpose of providing (either through charity or selling) for those who, for one reason or another, did not store up against a day of calamity.
As preppers, we are already walking the path of leadership. "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor" (Proverbs 12:24). We need to seek wisdom and understanding so that we will be good stewards of the abundance with which we have been entrusted. "A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases his strength" (Proverbs 24:5).
As a wife, it is my great honor to help my husband prepare for the future. I will secure the abundance, manage the estate, care for the people. He will lead. He will make the decisions that will decide the fate of his fellow man. Reluctantly or willingly, he will take his place among the leaders of our future. I intend to see that he is armed and ready.