In the parable of the good Samaritan, a man was attacked by robbers, beaten and left for dead. A priest and a Levite saw the need and did nothing. A Samaritan happened by, bandaged his wounds and took him to an inn where he could be cared for. He even paid for his extended care. The clergy talked the talk but the Samaritan walked the walk and more than that, he was committed.
We regularly see stories on the news where the authorities step in and take away forty, fifty or more cats from someone’s house because things got out of hand and the animals (and real estate) suffered. The “rescuer” tried to walk the walk but was not committed. Commitment means more than good intentions. Almost everyone has those. Commitment means following through with what you started. If you can’t follow through, you aren’t committed, you are foolish. You had no plan and if you did, your plan sucked.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
Don’t start with me by quoting Philippians 4:19
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
If you use that verse to justify why you did not plan or why your plan failed, be ready to provide me with the verse that said God told you to go out and collect fifty cats.
Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.'”
There is a big difference between walking in faith and tempting God. Faith allows us to walk where He leads even if there is no road. Some people take off without divine guidance and expect God to provide the road. Some people buy more house than they can afford. They max out their credit cards. They have more children or animals than they can care for. That’s not living by faith, it’s jumping off a cliff and expecting God to intervene.
I know preppers who overstep their level of experience. They buy guns and food and fancy survival gear. They get a fool’s education from YouTube and think they are ready to survive the apocalypse. When you ask them question after question to check their plan, they eventually say, “There comes a time when you have to trust God to take care of you.” That’s too much house. That’s fifty cats. That’s tempting God. He doesn’t like it when you do that and when you jump off that cliff, He might sit back and watch you splat your innards on the jagged rocks below.
There comes a time when we have to say, “I can’t.” It may not be a lack of faith, rather a wise decision. Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is is to admit to ourselves that we can’t do something. It’s also the wisest. We couldn’t fix Sadie’s broken back. We couldn’t make Annie’s or Ruger’s cancer go away. Even with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, we had to say, We can’t.”
We can’t take in every needy cat or dog that comes our way and we know it. We’ve said ‘no’ more times than we’ve said ‘yes’ and that’s one of the reasons you haven’t seen us on the news. Rescuing a cat or dog in most cases requires at least a ten year commitment and a great expense. That’s longer than most marriages last yet people jump in without thinking it through. The Duchess is over twelve-years-old and we’ve had her since she was a pup. Daisy, one of our sweet old cats, is twenty-three-years old and we’ve had him since he was a kitten. We’re committed and we have to walk the walk every day. Every. Single. Day.
Any prepper who doesn’t need to regularly replace his survival gear because he wore it out using it is not committed. He’s got fifty cats and no plan. In Texas they say, “He’s all hat and no cattle.” He’s got good intentions maybe but the road to hell is paved with those and he might even end up on the news. That boy needs to admit to himself that he just can’t do certain things and he needs to plan around his shortcomings.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
There are times we would love to take in more animals but we’re in our sixties now. We’ve had to modify some of our preps and plans because…we’re in our sixties now. That doesn’t mean we aren’t as committed as we once were. It means we have to be responsible in our commitments and work around our shortcomings. We’re not going to jump off of the cliff and trust God to catch us. Rather than taking in more animals, we network with others who can share the responsibilities. Rather than buying more axes and splitting mauls to provide firewood during a potential societal crisis, we might put aside other supplies for someone young enough (who wasn’t smart enough to put aside what he needed) to do that work for us. Did I mention that we are in our sixties? 🙂
You might have a great idea, you’ve got a good heart and good intentions and you might even have a legitimate need. Think it through. See past the emotion and need and visualize what could happen, where you will be and what you would do or have to do because what could happen probably will, you won’t be where you want to be and you won’t be able to do what you want to do. Then what?
Be wisely committed within your abilities and follow through because others are depending on you…and the news crew is standing by.