Aug 21, 2008

Expect the Unexpected

The founder of the world-wide Scouting movement was Robert Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell was born in London and was the son of Reverend Baden Powell. Robert Baden-Powell spent 34 years as a military scout for the British army. But after his book, Aids to Scouting became a best-seller, King Edward VII suggested that Baden-Powell retire from the army and spend the rest of his life promoting the Boy Scout movement.


Soon thereafter, an international scouting training center was created in Gilwell Park. In 1921, Baden-Powell was crowned as Baron by King Edward VII. In his later years, Baden-Powell referred to himself as Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell of Gilwell. Oh how I love the British...



It was Baden-Powell who came up with the Boy Scout Motto, "be prepared... Someone once asked Baden-Powell, "Be prepared for what?.. to which he replied, "Why, for any old thing...


Now I am all about being prepared. For example, I once went elk hunting in northern Colorado. My friend had been hunting in this canyon for years, but this was my first time. We started heading out and I decided to take a compass reading just to find out which direction we were heading. I had learned as a Boy Scout to be prepared. Well my friend and I were separated and because of the high mountains surrounding the canyon, dusk came almost miraculously quick. It was a frightening experience because in a matter of just a few minutes it was almost completely dark and I was alone in the forest. But I knew what direction we had taken and I had my compass. So I turned around and followed the opposite heading... right into camp. It's amazing how these things work.


But what always trips me up are the unexpected things. There are situations in life that we simply cannot prepare for because we don't know they're coming. For example, traffic accidents, stepping on a snake in the wild, and fatherhood. Just this last week a pregnant young lady in Fullerton, California was driving home from the mall when her baby decided to arrive five weeks early. Little Mary Claire Higgins was born on her front lawn. How do you prepare for that?


I am not sure we can be prepared for everything. But we can be as prepared as possible. In spiritual matters this means getting to know God's word and living out our Christian faith. By relying on God and His word to get through the small, incidental things in life, we are preparing for those moments when the unexpected arise. But we must never forget that Jesus is in charge of this world and He is always prepared. He knows about the unexpected things of life and He is there to help you through them.



The Reverend David John Patrick Hook Senior of Vail


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