A young man answered an ad in the local newspaper for an experienced farmhand. Meeting with the owner of the farm, he shared his previous work experience and then added, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”

This puzzled the farmer a bit. However, he needed the help, so he hired the young man.

During the next few months, the young man did everything that was required of him, so needless to say, the farmer was very satisfied with his new hire.

Late one night, one of those infamous Midwestern windstorms roared across the plains. It was 2 in the morning when the farmer was awakened by the howling winds.

He quickly put on his clothes and ran outside to check the property. He ran to the barn and found the equipment and all the animals were safely sheltered inside.

After running all over the place, he was satisfied that everything was as it should be, safe and secure.

After catching his breath, the farmer went to the bunkhouse to check on his new hire. The young man was sound asleep, unaffected by the bad weather.

Seeing the peaceful look on the face of the young man as he slept through the storm, and knowing that everything was secure on the farm, the farmer realized the meaning of the curious statement given by the young man when he first interviewed for the job. “I can sleep when the wind blows.”

When you’ve prepared for “the storms of life,” nothing can make you restless. Your nights will be restful if you spend your days planning for the unexpected. It’s the difference between being reactive and proactive.

Being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Proactive people focus their time and energy on things that are within their control.

By proactively preparing, they purposely put themselves in a better position so as not to react negatively to every little thing that does not go as planned.

When I was actively working in youth ministry, I often spoke in front of large groups without the benefit of notes.

The question I was most asked by the adults in attendance was, “How do you stand up in front of those kids for so long and remember all that material?”

I tell them that I practice the three most important rules when it comes to delivering a speech ... Prepare - Prepare - Prepare.

When I entered the workforce, and I received my first paycheck, I was told to save money for a “rainy day.” Then, after I had that “rainy day” fund secure, it’s time to contribute to the ole 401K to prepare myself for retirement.

This will ensure that I can rest easy knowing that my financial future is secure. Forty years ago, I never thought that day would come, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

When I evaluate my afterlife possibilities, I value what scripture has to say on the subject. Before Jesus ascended, he said, “And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

Heaven is a prepared place, but it is for people who are properly prepared. And, since we also are instructed by Jesus to “Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming,” (Matthew 25:13) I try my best to be prepared for the day that will end my Earthly life.

Recently, I had a conversation with a young co-worker about all the types of Insurance options available for him to choose from. His first question was, “Why do I need Insurance anyway?”

My response is always the same. “We pay insurance companies a premium to cover the liability we are not financially prepared to accept. We purchase all types of insurance like health, life, auto, homeowners and burial insurance because we want to alleviate anxiety and fear.”

If you’re not prepared for bad news, it can literally knock you off your feet. That’s why you’re asked to be seated when bad news is given. If you expect the winds of change to come blowing, you already are prepared to stand firmly on your own two feet.

The past two hurricane seasons certainly taught us the need to prepare for the worst and pray for the best. Even so, many people suffered damage to life and property. Many people are now prepared to accept whatever help others are willing to give them.

If you’ve had a storm blow your life around, be prepared to accept help from others. They can be the calm “eye of the storm” you need before the backside winds return.