We’ve all heard the saying, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” As for me, I strongly believe in the theology of preparation—for it is biblical. Preparation is of God’s nature. His word is an entire, whole, perfect guide created to prepare us for all things in life and for the ultimate preparation—our afterlife. Just take a look at 2 Corinthians 9, particularly verse 6, “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who gives generously will get a generous crop.” Now, this speaks directly to the doctrine of giving, but it also reveals the importance of preparation. A flower, plant, or vegetation does not harvest the moment you plant the seed—No. You must first plant the seed, and then nurture it—watering it, tending to it as is necessary for harvest season.
Fortunately for me, I have not failed in the preparation phase. At the beginning of each week, all of my ducks will be lined up in a row. No room for error. Work? Prepped. Gym? Prepped. Diet? Prepped. The list goes on and on. However, I still fail. Failure sets in mid-week, usually. My routine gets shaky. Old, bad habits formed when I was depressed will begin to resurface in moments of stress, emotional un-fulfillment, or strain on my mental capacity to overcome self-doubt and those moments turn into “well, I’ve failed myself already, what’s the point?”
You see, this is what I’ve come to discover in my one-on-one talks with God. We can prepare ALL day long, but it means nothing without follow through. Let me tell you why. If we continue reading 2 Corinthians 9 we’ll read, (7) “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure." You see, what I have failed to do is decide. I have failed to make a strong, firm decision that no matter the circumstance, no matter the challenges, hardships, or just plain ‘ole self-deprecating thoughts that runs through my mind, I will not fail—I won’t give in, give up, make excuses, or take the easy way out and say “well, tomorrow….” Instead, I will give it my all—the most, not the bare minimum.
So, yes, while preparation is crucial, decision making or commitment to the cause or the task at hand is essential—it’s where it all begins. Honestly, what can we expect when we prepare (i.e. planting the seed), but never come back to water and feed it simply because we aren’t committed to the daily responsibilities and potential challenges involved in the waiting period? Or should I say, grinding period—you know, when you continue to put in the work (i.e. nurturing, the watering and feeding) and your faith has to see beyond what your eyes can see and keep showing up and completing the work.
We have to decide, first. We have to make a choice and it is then, when we decide to be better, to choose better, to fight back, to jump those hurdles, that our preparation for the cause we have decided to commit to will yield results (success).
Again I say, do all things unto the Lord, with excellence as your foothold, but also as your incentive; because let’s be honest, when you are rooted in mediocrity, rather than excellence, you are robbing yourself spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
So, don’t cheat yourself. Strive for excellence. Be excellent!