We can never prepare enough.

We’re taught that preparation is important to safety and success. “Be prepared” is the Scout motto. We’re encouraged to weigh pros and cons before deciding, learn useful life skills, take preventative measures, and have emergency plans in place.

Yet no matter how ready we try to be, some aspect of a situation is likely to catch us off guard. No amount of planning and preparing can ever suffice. Does this mean it’s a waste of time to prepare? Of course not. But it does indicate that preparation’s value has limits.

Some of us are quick to act unconsidered. Others of us can get bogged down in the details in advance, causing us to be slow to take action. How can we reach a happy balance of just the right amount of preparation?

Today’s message encourages me to understand that preparation only provides me with a good beginning point. As any situation evolves, my understanding of it will change, requiring adjustments to my plans. If I ready myself for all aspects of a scenario—start to finish—I will need to tweak or even jettison some of my later-phase preparations. When I confine my ground work to early-stage needs and put together plans for later events along the way, I can take action more quickly, effectively, and appropriately.

How about you? Do you prepare for things in advance? How does that work out for you?