I spent the entire morning renewing my CPR certification today. I’ve done this regularly for the last decade, give or take, because my job requires me to be trained as a first responder. The process has almost become instinctive after all these years though without fail I find myself hesitant about the correct order of the process at some point in the class.
If you have ever taken CPR training then you should have immediately known that the order in which I titled this post (call-check-care) is blasphemous to the Red Cross. The proper order is “check-call-care”, the “three C’s”. Check the scene, call for medical help, care for the victim. But as I was working through the class this morning I thought about how different our lives are as Christians.
Like an emergency situation, we are rarely privy to the issues, circumstances, and situations that we will face on any given day. The presence of temptation and the opportunity for mistakes are almost assured, but how or where they will show up is generally a mystery. This daily ambiguity is never offered as an excuse in the Scriptures for our shortfalls, in fact, it isn’t really even mentioned. There is an understanding that tomorrow holds its own unique problems that Jesus only grazed in one of His teachings:
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34 ESV
So the issue of dealing with “today’s troubles” is not one of foreknowledge for us. So, unlike dealing with a medical emergency, the “check” is not the first link in our chain of survival as we generally find that once we are in a position to “check” its often too late to do much else besides foolishly reacting. But pro-action is what we need. Preparedness is a key aspect to living with the type of mentality that seems to be modeled by those we would consider “heroes of the faith”.
I would suggest that “call” is the first link in our chain. Calling out to God, dialing our spiritual 9-1-1 every day BEFORE we are in the thick of battle is key to being prepared for those things that we have no way of knowing about. Calling to God prior to our awareness of need is powerful, if for no other reason, than because it is an act of faith. This is a prayer of faith. Faith is, as Hebrews says, “the evidence of things not seen”, and if we don’t allow this verse to be hijacked by the prosperity gospel crowd we must see that it includes those things that are less than desirous. We would do better to see faith as an admission that there are things that we will face today that we cannot predict and then plead with the Spirit of God for His strength and His help. The “unseen” thing may be temptation, not a new Rolls Royce, and the “evidence” of the reality of that “unseen” thing is our daily acknowledgment of weakness and need, not signing a lease without having the money in our bank account.
“Call” first. then when we are in the position to “check” the scene, we will find that we are being “cared” for by the One who does know the beginning from the end, the sunset from the sunrise, and Who has seen and directed or allowed every single step we will walk today.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it this way, and I encourage you to let this saturate your being (as I must do even more-so):
Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
May we be prepared friends, not because we are so strong or quick or clever, but because we have surrendered out lives daily into the hands of Jesus Christ, the rescuer of our moments.