Monday, January 27, 2014

The scout motto

There is no sense in trying to hide failures and short comings, so I might as well be honest about mine. 
I am a Girl Scout drop out. 
There, I said it. The truth is revealed. My deep, dark secret is no longer under wraps. I quit the Girl Scouts. I failed to receive all of my badges. I certainly never received the coveted Girl Scout Gold Award. I didn't even last long enough to hear such designations discussed. I think I hung around long enough to sell cookies for a season, and even that was a less than resounding effort, I'm sure. I toughed that out for the Samoas. 
My Mom, on the other hand, had to stick with Girl Scouts a bit longer. And no, I'm not talking about her own days as a Brownie or Junior Girl Scout. I'm talking about her role as leader. She signed up to be co-leader of my troop when I was in elementary school. Then I, having the heart of a the rebel scout, said so-long to the girls. Poor Mom, she was still committed to her duties. She had taken the Girl Scout Law to heart. Unfortunately that sense of duty did not translate to me in my younger years. 
I spent the rest of my school years enjoying Girl Scouts from afarparticularly at cookie season. 
Now those days have faded into distant memories, becoming part of my ancient history. It is almost comical to picture my rebellious, strong will railing against the Girl Scout Promise and refusing to attend camping experiences. I never have been very fond of camping. So I guess it's no wonder Girl Scouts wasn't my cup of tea. 
Although I never embraced the practices of the scouts I do have a respect for the principles they represent. The organization strives to uphold honesty and integrity. They teach the importance of kindness, fairness and service to others. Most famously, they promote the scout motto: be prepared. 
This motto has been embraced worldwide by scouts of every tongue and nation since 1907. The idea behind "be prepared" is to always be in a state of readiness in both body and mind. 
Young boys and girls learn this motto as a foundational principle of the scouting organization. What they might not realize while they repeat this simple refrain is that the concept of preparedness dates back much farther than 1907. It has roots deeply embedded in something other than the Scout Handbook. The principle of being prepared can be found clearly stated and articulated in the Bible.
In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells Timothy to, " prepared in season and out of season…" 
1 Peter 3:15 says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 
Preparedness isn't reserved for just the New Testament. Even Proverbs speaks of being in a state of readiness. In chapter 17, verse 12 scripture tells us, "A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
Be prepared. This is a motto fit for a Junior Scout with every badge perfectly sewed into place or a Girl Scout drop out. Be prepared is relevant for the volunteer Mother who is stuck with camping duties and the woman who never travels to a destination that doesn't include a five star hotel and turn down service. 
Being prepared isn't a principle of a particular organization. It is a principle of God. 
Paul, in 2 Timothy, goes on to warn his reader that a day is coming when he will face false teaching and unsound doctrine. We, as Christ followers, must be ready to recognize the falsehoods and rebuke them with the truth of God. If we are unprepared and ignorant of the truth then we will be defenseless against lies and deception. Paul wants us to keep our heads in the game. Keep our eyes and ears open. Be ready. Be prepared. 
You don't need to be a scout or have a badge to make "be prepared" your motto. As Christians we should strive to always be prepared to defend truth. We can do this with the Word of God, wearing the full armor of God. We should defend truth with "great patience and careful instruction" as Paul tells Timothy. In the Bible you will find everything you need to be properly prepared for the deception, myths and lies of the world. Everyday we are surrounded by beliefs that contradict Biblical truth. People all around us call right wrong and wrong right. We have the charge to stand firm against this twisting of truth and justification of sin. We are to stand on the firm foundation of God's truth. 
Dear Reader, call on your inner Scout and be prepared to be a defender of God's word and lover of His truth. With grace and mercy stand up for the truth of the Gospel. Lovingly point the lost to Jesus Christ and the truth of the Bible. This is our duty as Christ followers: to be prepared to stand for the truth of God. 

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