Be Prepared and Focused

by Jennifer Balkey

In general would you agree that most women have the same priorities—to care for their family, be responsible with our finances, be a good friend? While each of us have different ways we will go about meeting these priorities, generally we are all working toward the same objectives.

At times we get bogged down in the details and are fighting against the current to just stay afloat. Sometimes the water rages and we cannot see the bigger picture. So what about grabbing onto a life raft and getting your head steadily above the water? What about leaning in and trusting that the raft will get you where you need to go? Along the river of life we will surely face obstacles that we must react to (the boulder in the middle of the river or the large tree branch leaning into that water that will snag you if you don’t move the other way), but that does not mean that we have to do ALL of the work ourselves. Let the raft, the buoy, the life jacket support you and keep your head above the water so you can clearly see what is coming.

Life is like the river and keeps propelling us downstream. All rivers are not void of dangers—rocks, branches, wildlife, waterfalls, drought, whirlpools etc. We are never strong enough to avoid all obstacles. But through it all the lifejacket doesn’t quit being a lifejacket—it continues to keep your head above the water even if your leg is bleeding or the river has dried up and you have to walk part way.

The church, the people of God, are meant to be your lifejacket. We can come together, support each other, encourage each other, and help each other around the obstacles of life. Are you willing to accept the support? Are you clipping that lifejacket around you or just carrying it along in the boat just in case you fall out? Do you have it on, but have loosened the straps so that it is more comfortable and can be easily removed if it’s in your way?

To be most useful, a lifejacket needs to be buckled with the straps adjusted securely to ensure optimal benefits and safety. Are you utilizing the church for all that it can offer? Are you using your gifts to make the church all it can be? Are you providing time and money to our church, from what God has given you, so that the material holding the foam inside the lifejacket doesn’t get too worn out and become less effective?

We have no idea what obstacles or dangers are right around the bend. But it is wise to do all we can to be ready with our eyes open and lifejacket on to better overcome what comes our way. As I write this, I pray we, our church body, will be unified in body and spirit so that we can effectively support one another as we together aim to advance God’s kingdom here on earth. We matter! We need to make priority #1 fixing our eyes on Jesus and the work He calls us to do together! Grab your lifejacket and keep your eyes open. What you do matters for you, your family, your church, AND His Kingdom.