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Prepared for the 'what'

Charles Swindoll posed the idea that "life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it", because he proposes reaction can be controlled or 'governed'. I imagine God sits around sometimes just watching some of our reactions to some of the things in life that shouldn't have thrown us into a tizzy, but there we are - in a pickle and sour as all get out because of what is going on in our lives. Life doesn't have to elicit reactions from us - we offer them quite freely, don't we? We are moved by the oddest things, shut down by others, and completely oblivious at times to things that should have cause us some sort of reaction. In my day to day work, I plan the action so we don't have to be so 'reactive'. It is called being 'proactive' - knowing how we will 'act' before there is ever a need for a reaction.

Learn well how to wait so you will be strong and complete and in need of nothing. If you do not have wisdom, ask God for it. He is always ready to give it to you and will never say you are wrong for asking. (James 1:4-5)

All of God's plans for us involve some sort of 'action'. Even taking no action is actually an 'action' on our part. It is hard to learn how to take the correct actions all of the time, but the more we listen to God's voice, learn his ways as shown to us in the Word of God, and just contemplate our own actions BEFORE we take them, we will find our actions become more consistent and correct. I think that is what Swindoll had in mind when he posed that idea of us focusing not so much on the 'what' as on the 'how' in life. Life happens, but how we respond to it is determined beforehand. Yes, you may think you 'reacted' in that very moment when something happened, but in truth, you 'reacted' based upon something you already learned somewhere in your past.

Learn well "HOW" to wait - did you catch that in our passage today? The 'how' is under consideration, not the 'what'. If we don't know 'how', what are we to do? We are to ask God for the wisdom to know the 'how' when we are faced with the 'what'. Now, that may seem elementary to some, but trust me on this one, we'd have less trouble with some of our 'reactions' in life if we had spent a little time up front with God learning how to respond when those things came our way! I had no clue that I would not be able to get to food or water yesterday when I started the day, but something inside of me told me to put a couple of bottles of water, some fruit, cheese, and almonds into a small lunch bag in the den. I listened and do you know what - when everything inside the kitchen was sealed in plastic for the painter to begin the task of spraying the paint, I didn't have to panic!

In essence, I listened to a 'small voice' inside of me that actually helped me be prepared - proactive. This morning I still have no access to the kitchen, but I still have fruit, cheese, and nuts! I am set! This is just a simple illustration of not being caught off-guard by the 'what' because God had prepared me with the 'how' already. God is very likely working out some 'how' steps in your life today, but you have no idea 'what' you will need those steps for in your day. You just know he is asking you to 'learn well' the 'how' so you will be ready for the 'whatever' that comes. Just sayin!


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