Refining Life, on Purpose

Why A Constant Preparation Mode Is So Important

Preparation Comes from God

Being in a constant mode of preparation is this month’s Year of Listening Up (#YLU) topic and it’s one that is near and dear to my heart. Throughout the narrative of Listen Up, Kids, I offer a lot of examples of how I can look back on my life and show others how God had perfectly prepared me for moments that were yet to come.

For instance, as a child, I fell in love with two things: writing and baseball. They were hobbies that I explored with intensity and passion. Sadly, I wasn’t all that good at baseball. That didn’t stop me from continuing to enjoy the game as a spectator and follower though.

I remember, when, at the age of twelve, I told my dad that I was going to quit playing and he said to me;

If you get out now, it will be really hard to get back in later.

Those words haunted me for decades as I found them to be true in every field of life – not just baseball. Fast-forward about 18 years from that day; I had gone on to graduate high school and college and land a job in marketing at a credit union. I met a peer from another credit union who cleared the way for me to see my first book (Baseball in Fort Wayne) get published.

It was not how I planned it, but it was the fruition of a life-long dream. And it would never have happened if God had not prepared me along the way.

God Provides Preparation as He Sculpts His Masterpieces

Two analogies make up my understanding of how God intends us to live and mature. The first is that of a lump of clay being molded into a clay pot (a vessel). The second is that of a building being constructed. Both require foundations and preparations to move from one stage to the next. One is more art and the other is more science. Both require we be properly prepared for steps that will come later in development.

Preparation Comes from God

God’s preparation– the way he orders our lives – sets us up to enjoy blessings that are to follow. It is not by mere chance. He sees the long view much better than we do.

There is a lyric in the Manic Drive song, “Song to Sing” that goes “I didn’t follow the script, but you did the directing.” I find that to be true in many seasons of life.

In my case, so much of it was never part of my plan for the journey, but God prepared me through those “unplanned” directions. I found myself working at a credit union, which was never part of my plan. I was putting forward all my efforts and attention toward writing a novel and seeking and agent and publisher, the latter of which never happened. I was observing friends achieve their dreams while I was slowly losing ground on my own dreams. As work life and home life took up more of my attention, I very nearly settled into a mode of complacency (which I consider to be the enemy of momentum and progress). A chance meeting with someone from another credit union brought about a discussion that led to a discussion about our mutual love of baseball.

Months later, that chance meeting resulted in a contract to see my dream of being a published author come true! It wasn’t according to my plan, but God blessed me with answered prayers and a clear path.

Just Like Moses, God Sees to Our Preparation

At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds. – Acts 7:20-22

First, I love the poetic justice here. Pharaoh was intimately involved in the preparation of his own nemesis. But think about all the things that had to fall exactly into place to get to this point and to the points that would follow as Moses freed God’s people from slavery in Egypt.

In much the same way, for me, everything had to fall into place as I received the preparation for which God had planned to bless my life. Interestingly, that blessing also resulted in the founding of 1Glories so the blessing that God granted me ultimately become for him – just the way it is meant to be!

I don’t know what my future holds. What I do know, though, is that I am in a mode of preparation. I am taking in everything that God brings my way. I’m learning from success. Learning from failures. I am learning to see obstacles as opportunities and make the best possible use of every blessing that God offers.

All of which is fully for his glory. For ever, and ever.


About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.