If you are or have been a member of the boys scout association, I’m sure you must be very familiar with the phrase, “always be prepared”.
I’m not a member of the boys scout but I’ve had quite a number of experiences in my life to not treat the phrase casually.
Nothing is as frustrating as having an opportunity meet you unprepared or less prepared than you should be. It’s better to be prepared for the opportunity you don’t yet have than to have the opportunity you are not yet prepared for. The opportunity you are not prepared for is likely going to breed frustration and stress for you.
Little wonder why Abraham Lincoln said; “I will study and prepare and some day my opportunity will come.”
Just two days ago I received an invitation to facilitate a leadership training exercise for a group of Postulants serving under the Anglican Communion.
It was a last minute resort because the proposed speaker was unavailable. After I was briefed on the nature of the exercise, that it will be done as a presentation, I decided to take the chance.
Apart from the fact that I was free on the said date and time for the training, my acceptance was reinforced by the fact that the subject I was being called upon to facilitate is one I’ve been understudying for years.
I already had loads of information coupled with firsthand experience on the subject, piled and tucked away in my arvhive. As such it wasn’t so much a difficult task preparing the slides given the space of just one day before the training.
Yesterday as I walked into the auditorium where the training was booked to hold, I was amazed at what I saw.
I didn’t presume it was going to be the way it was. I had the privilege of standing before folks who by virtue of both age and status could be said to have more experience and knowledge than I did on the subject.
For a moment while I peered into their faces, I nearly felt tension surge through my entire being.
However as I began to pour my heart to them, dishing out viciously the message as one with authority in the field, the whole room got electrified.
By the time I’d gone half way through the training and decided to stop because of time constraint, they were literally asking for more.
It was unbelievable how things really turned out in the end. It is as I was ruminating over the whole experience that the strength of the phrase “always be prepared” was reignited.
You see, you may not have the opportinity you want right now. But there is always one opportunity you have at your disposal. It is the opportunity to prepare for the opportunity.
You may not have the kind of platform you desire at the moment. But you do yourself great harm if you use that as an excuse for the failure to keep developing yourself.
In the field of life, content development precedes platform growth. If you have the platform but lack content, you will lose the platform. But if you have the content, the chances are high that you will not only attract the platform but will also sustain it.
The day you are given a platform you are not ready for is probably the day you will understand fully how sensitive and instructive the words “always be prepared” really are.
My advice to you this morning is simple: keep developing yourself in line with your dreams and goals for you never know when the opportunity that will change the course of your life will come kicking at the door.
When such a time arrives, it is my desire to hear you submit with the same words as Winston Churchill who when the call to lead Britain to victory against the German Holocaust led by the man who instigated World War II, Adolph Hitler, said, “All my past experiences had been but a preparation for this very moment.”
[Always] be prepared.
Point to Ponder: What am I doing now that will prepare me to stand confidently on the platform I wish to see myself in the nearest future?