If it snows in London, it’s like a sprinkling of wet confectioner’s sugar. Frozen precipitation is to be expected during the winter season, yet Londoners seem completely unprepared. When I lived in the city, sidewalks turned to skating rinks as I walked to and from work in my far from suitable shoes.
So, yesterday as I sat on a flight from Boston, Massachusetts to London, the weather forecast for England caught my eye—cold, it said, snow flurries, frost, and the possibly of icy roads.
Now, instead of freaking out, I smiled. Years of living in northeastern America have given me a confidence I never had before. I can shovel snow and throw ice melt like a local. 2015 was the worst winter on record; I plowed through it like a pro. With a little bit of preparation we can be ready for the predictable. I know how to handle snow.
It would be easy for me to laugh and mock the efforts of my fellow British citizens as they slip and slide on one inch of snow when I can step sturdily in one hundred inches of snow. But, when we are experts, we should coach not condemn.
So, how do we prepare for the inevitable, not the improbable, in the seasons of life? Not what is unlikely to happen but what is likely to happen.
We can be ready for school, marriage, work, starting a family, raising kids, teenagers heading to college and leaving home, welcoming our children’s partners, becoming a grandparent and so on.
Being prepared means feeling confident we can do it instead of being apprehensive or fearful we’re inept.
So, here are three steps I think are useful for gaining confidence for the season, and so your next step doesn’t take you flying off your feet:
- A heap of observation. See how others do it and learn from their experiences. Since September all three of my children have gone to college. Yet, for years I’ve watched how my nieces and nephews—the children of my three older siblings—have gone off to college, taken jobs, got married, and started families. It’s given me assurance as I’ve settled my own children into their dorm rooms because I know what to expect.
I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw. Proverbs 24:32 (NIV)
- A ton of determination. We need to venture out and strive to do our best. We might slip over, but unless we try, we’ll never learn. And, don’t let scaremongers dictate how you feel. One person’s experience is not necessarily going to be your own.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)
- A little bit of faith. Sometimes the smallest things, like a sprinkling of snow, can trip us up. But have hope and optimism; seasons come and go.
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7 (NIV)
What season are you in and how can you be prepared?
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