Ready, Alert, & Prepared: Do Not Be Caught Off Guard

Ready, alert, prepared….something my mother rehearsed as she was learning to find her voice with the well-meaning women of the church, ladies circles, altar guild, as well as her strong and opinionated mother-in-law. In fact, I can remember mother walking around repeating “be ready, alert, and prepared” before she entered one of these spaces….so much so that my sister and I now carry on the tradition of repeating this mantra. You can ask me later when I rehearse this wonderful mantra (HA!).

Mother often talks about the importance of preparing for moments in which you will be caught off guard…the unexpected. Most often these moments are initiated by well-meaning individuals who are often asking you to give in some way…. perhaps not exactly how you have been called to give. On the other hand, some of these well-meaning individuals are not asking you but instead telling you how you should or need to give/live. Either way to be ready for these unexpected encounters one must be alert and prepared.

When I think about this season, celebrating the birth of Jesus, these 3 simple yet profound words are just as important. Jesus comes to us in the most unexpected way…a virgin birth….in the most unexpected place…a messy, stinky stable….for the most unexpected people…You and Me! Talk about being caught off guard!

The world was caught off guard and being caught off guard is indeed a part of the journey…. yet Advent allows us a time of preparation. It calls for us to be alert and to ready ourselves for the unexpected gift.

Many of us will indeed be preparing our own gift lists, our menus, our parties, our pageants, and our exterior decorations. While all of these elements of preparation are a part of the anticipation of the One who brings the message of hope, joy, peace, and love the question that begs an answer is how will you prepare, ready and alert your heart? This is indeed a different type of preparation…one that allows for knowing who and whose you are….an opening…. a release from ill will…standing firm in your calling.

As you move into the Advent season don’t be caught off guard because you have not prepared your heart…expect the gifts in the most unexpected places!

Hope, Joy, Peace, & Love


Scroll to Top