Preparation = the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.
Preparations = something done to get ready for an event or undertaking.
When you think of “being prepared”, you most likely are thinking and acting intentionally; you are doing something now to ready yourself for something else in the future – something anticipated and planned. I believe – no, I KNOW – there is another kind of preparation, the kind that transcends our own intentions.
Perhaps your current circumstances, actions and thoughts are also preparing you for the unanticipated.
In 1988, I took a promotion, quite frankly, to escape from a rather evil new boss. I actually turned down the promotion three times before accepting the fourth offer. The job required me to make an undesired relocation to an undesired line of work – a direct service position helping people with disabilities become employed.
The executive who kept offering me the promotion knew my situation; he also knew my talents, perhaps better than I did. I turned down the offer three times because:
- I did not want the job.
- I did not want to live in the community where I would need to relocate.
- I wanted to find my own job to pursue my writing and media relations career, not do job placement for others!
“Mark, take the job. I think you will be great in this position; I think you will come to love it and I think you will stay for a long time. If you do, you’ve done me a favor. If you don’t, and move on quickly, I’ve done you a favor.”
For nine years, I wondered “Why am I here? Are you preparing me for something?” I asked God the same questions in my prayers and spoke about it with others. I got specific, too: “God, are you preparing me to be the parent of a child with disabilities?”
In fact, I was being prepared for the life I now lead, not only starting my own business and the incredible opportunity to make a living at the work I do, but in August 1998 I became the parent of a child with Down Syndrome – my incredible son, Ryan, who is now age 13.