And a bit of rambling about conspiracy theories
Today is a day for reflections for me. A day to think about all that I have read and watched concerning prepping/survival in the past few months. Sometimes our brains can become overloaded with knowledge and other peoples' ideas. When that happens, it's a good idea to stop, take a moment, reflect, and absorb. What is good for (or works for) one person may not apply to me and my situation. I'm speaking specifically regarding the prepping/survival world here. There is so much to absorb and take in. But, we should only retain those things which will be useful for us in our own environment. It's a bit different for me though. Because of my desire to pass on the knowledge I gain to others in hopes of helping them. Which means, I need to be aware of the needs of several different situations and scenarios. So, today is a day that I need to stop and take a moment to reflect on what I specifically need to glean from all of the ideas and knowledge that I have obtained over the past few months.
It really isn't much different from listening to a pastor's sermon, or a Bible teacher's teachings. We should always search the Bible to make sure that sermon or teaching lines up with it. Not to be judgmental, but to see what God's word says about it because humans are not perfect. We have a need or desire to add our own words and experience when we tell something. Whether it be a sermon, Bible teaching, or any other teaching or story really. It's the same way with the prepping/survival world. Those who teach or share tend to teach and/or share what is relevant to them, or what they "think" may be relevant to others. I encourage you to do this. To watch and listen, but before completely absorbing what you saw or heard, make sure it lines up with what your specific needs and situation are.
For instance, most conspiracy theories tend to instill fear in us. Perhaps that is the whole intention in the first place, perhaps not. Either way, we need to be careful not to be motivated by fear. There is a difference in healthy fear and unhealthy fear. Unhealthy fear may cause us to act without looking at all of the options. Whereas healthy fear tells us to be concerned and cautious, but to act wisely. Or, we may choose to completely ignore the entire concept of said theories; a completely opposite reaction to fear. Although, ignoring a situation can, in reality, actually be driven by fear. Kind of ironic isn't it?
An example of something that could have been considered a conspiracy theory was the chatter that was based upon the "Four Blood Moons" event that happened a few years back. There was a lot of fear produced as a result of the theories that were thrown around about what would happen. There were also a lot of people who chose to completely ignore it as basically being "hogwash". Some called it a prophecy, some called it a conspiracy theory. The event came and went, and nothing seemingly happened as a result of it. Did that immediately make it a conspiracy theory? Personally, I don't believe so. However, it did cause a certain degree of panic. (Panic is brought on by an unhealthy fear.) And, the panic/fear subsided after the event passed without any outward signs that our world had come to an end. Therefore, it was basically "labeled" as having been a conspiracy theory.
The same type of panic/fear was brought on waaayyyy back in 1999 as the new millennium (Y2K) was approaching. Many thought the world was coming to an end. There was panic and fear everywhere! And, just as the four blood moons passed and nothing happened, so did the new millennia. Was this an actual conspiracy theory? I personally think so. Fear and panic was instilled into perhaps hundreds and thousands, and maybe even millions of people. There was a general feeling of panic among a majority Americans. I, personally, was a little bit of a skeptic about it, but even so I had a small amount of fear that it could actually happen.
You may think I've gotten a little off track here, but not really. As a result of the Y2K theory, a whole new generation of preppers/survivalists were born! Those preppers were mocked and laughed at. Soon they were labeled as conspiracy theorists and the world of preppers became labeled as a conspiracy. Many thought they were actually crazy with their thoughts that they had to prepare for the world to come to an end! I must admit, I even felt they might be a bit crazy. But, like many people, I did not pursue any type of knowledge concerning them or their beliefs. I only heard what the media wanted me to hear about them. I felt (and believed) that if anything were to happen, God would take care of me and my family. I was a Christian. I was safe. After all, the Rapture would happen before the world comes to an end, and I would take part in that rapture and not be around when it all came crashing down.
Time for me to Read The Bible
Then many, many years later along came the four blood moons prophecy/theory. Since this was more of a prophecy than a theory (although the non-Christians saw it as a scary conspiracy theory) it caught my attention. It went deeper within me than the surface scare of the Y2K scare. I didn't feel a panic, but I definitely felt the need to research it and find out what it was all about. And, so I did. Extensively. As I mentioned above, I sought The Word of God (Bible) and read, and read, and read. One of the things that stood out to me the most in my readings was how God always (and I mean always) warned His people of impending doom.
This really got me to thinking that perhaps this four blood moons event was God's way of warning His people of what was coming. After all, we had been preaching and teaching for many years that we were living in the "End Times". If that were really true, wouldn't things have to happen to lead up to the actual end? That's when it got to me. If I felt like this was a warning from God then maybe I should do something about it. I still believed in what is commonly referred to as the Rapture. But I also saw that if we were to come to a place where the Rapture was necessary, the world wouldn't be all rainbows and unicorns at that point in time. There would have to be some type of catastrophic event to even lead up to the need for a rapture to take place. That's when I decided to become a prepper. I still hadn't studied or researched what a prepper was, but I did know that they stocked food so that was where I began.
In my readings, I came across scriptures that said things like, Matthew 24:13, "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." (NASB) and Matthew 24:22, "Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short." (NASB). I had read those scriptures many times over the years, but my eyes had never been opened up to what their true meaning was until then. I started questioning the teachings I had been taught my entire Christian life about Christians being raptured and escaping the horrible end of the world. It took me close to two years to come to any type of conclusion on this matter. My findings on this subject can be found in my article Rapture or Resurrection?.
That's when I realized that I may need to do a little more research on being a prepper. And, so I did. Which lead me to where I am today. I'm not only a prepper, but I am a survivalist (not the Rambo type, but one who has the will and knowledge to survive) and a bushcraft enthusiast. Because to truly survive in a SHTF, apocalypse, or grid down situation, we will need more than just stored food. We will need to know how to survive. It won't be as simple as just losing our power grid so we just sit around and eat the food we've stored. There will be so much more. We will need to have knowledge, skills, and wisdom. See my article, There's more to prepping than food | Are you truly prepared?.
All of that brings me back to where I am today. Reflecting on those things which I have heard and have been told that I need to learn. Reflecting on what I have learned and deciding if it is something I need to dig into deeper. We shouldn't just listen to others and make our decisions based off of their opinions. We need to truly look at all that is or would be involved in our decision making. Look at it from all angles. Try to find out if it would be something relevant to our own situation/location.
I had a friend (God rest her soul) who once told me that listening to a sermon is like chewing on a chicken leg. You eat the meat and throw away the bones. That helped me to learn how to find the pieces of the sermon that lined up with The Word of God. I didn't need to concentrate on the thoughts and ideas that the deliverer of the sermon had thrown in there, but rather focus upon the Truth that was found in The Word. That same thing, as I said earlier, applies to prepping/survival. Focus upon those things which are relevant to you, your family, your situation, your location, and your resources. Take the time to reflect upon and sift through what you've learned, taking out any bones that do not apply and chewing on the meat (my apologies to any vegetarians out there). By doing this, you will expel a lot of those overwhelming feelings that can rise up from time to time. Focus on your specific needs and circumstances. Then, dig in deep and learn all you can that will help you prepare. That's what I am doing today. Because I too become overwhelmed with the responsibility of being a prepper from time to time. That's how I know you do, or will, also.
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!