Always Be Prepared

The other day, my family and I went out to eat at one of our favorite local spots. It's a little diner in town called Sam and Ethel's. The food is always good and the prices are even better. I'd highly recommend it if you are ever in Tipp City, Ohio. Seated at a table just behind us were three medical doctors. They seemed to be having some sort of business meeting. One of the doctors had a pretty thick Irish accent. Early on in their conversation one of the other doctors asked the Irish sounding gentleman about his background in working with U.S. special forces medics. He posed this question. "So you have first hand experience with these special forces soldiers. Are they really as incredible as the movies make them out to be?"

Without hesitation, the Irish doctor went on to explain in detail how truly phenomenal the special forces soldiers are. He talked non-stop for about the next twenty minutes. He talked about their training, their skills, their strength, their mental fortitude, their ability to put their bodies through things most humans don't even think possible, and on and on and on. He was so detailed, so knowledgeable, and so passionate about his response. He knew so much code language and used so many terms I've never even heard of. It was the most entertaining meal I've had in a long time. After literally talking continuously for about twenty minutes, he finally wrapped up his answer by saying, "So yes, they are really as incredible, if not more so, than the movies make them out to be."

The other two doctors were blown away. They praised the Irish doctor for his ability to know all of that information and to be able to recall it without any challenge at all. The Irish doctor's response was what stood out to me the most. He said, "It's not difficult for me because this is my life. I live it and breathe it every day. It's second nature to me."

I haven't stopped thinking about their conversation since I left the restaurant that day. I was also blown away by the Irish gentleman's knowledge. He was truly an expert in his field, no doubt about it. But I was also convicted by his response. He was so ready to go that all someone had to do was ask one simple question, and then he was able to unload so much information with brilliant articulation and inspiring passion. He was able to talk for twenty minutes without pausing once to take a breather. My guess is he could have talked for two hours or even two days if they had the time and he had the permission to do so.

It made me wonder how I would respond if someone came to me and asked a similar question. What if someone said to me, "So you've had first hand experience with the Christian faith. Is Jesus really as incredible as the bible makes him out to be?" Would I be fired up and ready to go just as much as the guy with the super cool accent was in the restaurant? Could I talk for twenty minutes continuously about who Jesus is and what he's done with that same kind of knowledge and passion? And could I do it in a way that was so compelling that everyone else in the restaurant would stop what they were doing to listen in?

I love what Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:15. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. We should always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have. It should be second nature to us. It shouldn't be difficult for us because this is our life. We should be living it and breathing it every day. I don't know about you, but this is what I want. I want to be able to answer for the hope I have with an even greater knowledge and passion than the doctor in the restaurant that day. The only way to do so is by living it and breathing so much that it becomes who we are, and we don't even have to think about it. We just know it. That's my prayer.

What about you? Are you ready to give an answer for the hope you have? If not, what is the next step you need to take in order to be ready?


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