“Therefore…let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”[i]
Reasonably preparing for potential rough times ahead will bring a peace that lets us step back and watch the Lord’s hand in the world instead of getting caught up in a panic.
Recently we have seen a rush on the stores that is unprecedented in my lifetime. People were fighting over basic items. That doesn’t even mention the natural disasters and fires that seem to creep in. What needs to happen so we can be at peace during these times?
Here are a few ideas to help take some stress out of unforeseen troubles:
- Keep your gas tank half full so if you need to evacuate, you easily can. Also, go sit for 15 minutes and create yourself an evacuation list of what you would grab from your home if you had to leave it.
- Make a simple food plan that you would follow for three months if you suddenly weren’t able to make a trip to the store. Purchase the items needed overtime. Make a purchase plan so it doesn’t hurt you financially. For ideas check out this post: 3 Month Supply -Practical Food Storage
- Buy one extra. When times are calm, make a list of commonly used items in your home. Just walk room to room. Slowly acquire one extra bottle of shampoo, one extra bottle of dish soap, one extra stick of deodorant, one extra tube of toothpaste, one extra bar of soap, etc. Don’t buy it all at once…just add to your list bit by bit.
- Grow some food or spices at home. There are items like chives, parsley, rhubarb, berry bushes, or fruit trees that just come back every year. Why not have some alternate food sources? If you don’t have a yard, spices grow well in kitchen windows. Store a few kinds of seeds. See post: Why I Grow Parsley
- Store some water. Tap water stored in two liter pop bottles is a great way to begin.
- Create an Emergency Kit with a change of clothes, food, and water. (For ideas see our posts Emergency Kit-Food, Emergency Kit-Shoes, and Add This Item to Your Emergency Kit)
- Make a plan of what heat source you’d use for food and warmth if the power is out. Maybe you have a wood stove, a generator, or a propane grill. If not, take a look at these options: Terra Cotta Pot Heater and Tiny Stove Top
- Do what it takes to be at peace spiritually. Peace inside helps decrease the influence of the noise outside. Ideas on how to find peace can be found in these posts: My Hiding Place, Goals That Bring Peace.
A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to the craziness of our time.
I think of this story often:
“Many years ago the old country fair in parts of England was, besides being the place of exhibition for farm products, [the place] where employer and employee met. . . .
“Farmer Smith wanted a boy to work on his farm. He was doing some interviewing of candidates. A thoughtful looking lad of about sixteen attracted him. The boy was confronted with a rather abrupt question from the gruff old agriculturist. “What can you do?” The boy swung back at him in the same style, ‘I can sleep when the wind blows.’
“. . . Notwithstanding he didn’t particularly like the answer to a civil question he got from the teenager, there was something about the gray eyes of that fellow that got under his skin.
“He approached the lad again with the same question, “What did you say you could do?” Again the same answer bounced back at him, ‘I can sleep when the wind blows.’
“Mr. Smith was still disgusted with such an answer and went to other parts of the fair to look into the faces of other youngsters who might want a job on a farm, but there was something about that answer he got that stuck to him like glue. First thing he knew his feet were carrying him back to meet the steady gaze of those deliberate eyes of the boy with such strange language.
“’What did you say you could do?’ for the third time he thundered at the farm help. For the third time, too, the farmer got the same answer. . . . ‘I can sleep when the wind blows.’
“’Get into the wagon—we’ll try you out.’ . . .
“One night Farmer Smith was waked about 2:00 a.m. with what might be a cyclone. It seemed that gusts from the north in only a few minutes developed with intensity to threaten the roof over his head. The trees cracked and noises outside turned the nervous system of our friend upside down. The speed he used to jump into his trousers was only outdone by the lightning as it broke up the darkness outside. With shoes half-laced he rushed out into the farmyard to see if anything on the premises was still intact, but he would need the services on a wicked night like this of that new boy. He called up the stairs of the attic where the latter slept, but the response was the healthy lung heaving of a healthy lad. He went half the way up the stairs and thundered again, but only a snore echoed back. In excitement he went to the boy’s bed and did everything but tear the bed clothes from the youth, but the lad slept on.
“With a mixture of desperation and disgust he faced the gale, and out into the farmyard he plunged. He first approached the cow barn. Lo and behold, the milk producers were peacefully chewing their cuds, and the inside of their abode was as snug as a mouse under a haystack. It didn’t take him long to discover how the boy had chinked up the cracks of the cow abode and reestablished the locks and hinges. In the pigpen he found the same tranquility, notwithstanding the forces at work that night.
“He turned to the haystack. As he felt about in the darkness, it didn’t take him very long to determine again the preparation of the lad with the gray, steady eyes. Every few feet on that feed stack wires had been thrown and weighted on each side. With this construction the alfalfa was peacefully under control and laughing at the elements.
“Our farmer friend was stunned with what revelations he had in a few minutes of that cyclone night. He dropped his head. His mental maneuvers shot like lightning to the boy snoring in the attic. Again, the peculiar answer of a few weeks ago slapped him in the face: ‘I can sleep when the wind blows.’”[i]
That story reminds me to prepare the best that I reasonably can…and then have peace. To me it just comes down to intentionally trying and then stepping back and watching the Lord’s hand in my life and in the world. He is the source of peace.
[i] Doctrine and Covenant 123:17, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/123?lang=eng
[i] Marvin O. Ashton, To Whom It May Concern (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946), 102–4; see Thomas Whittaker, “How to Sleep on a Windy Night,” chapter 21 in Brighter England and the Way to It (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891), 259–61. (As found in “I Can Sleep When the Wind Blows” by Shayne M. Bowen, BYU Speech, Nov 2018)