I’ve long been a fan of the National Geographic channel. I was a History major in college and I’m very much a non-fiction type of guy, so the programming slate on Nat Geo tends to fit my personality very well. I gravitate towards personal documentaries in particular. A couple years ago while I was tuning in to an episode of one of my favorite shows, Locked Up Abroad I saw an advertisement for a new series getting set to air, Doomsday Preppers.
Doomsday Preppers is a reality television series that documents the preparation efforts of survivalists planning for extreme circumstances that could lead to the end of the world as we know it. Driven by seemingly obsessive paranoia, the show’s stars develop and coordinate “bug out” plans for the end of days. Most of the individuals profiled are motivated by specific fears, be it of a potential natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or a full scale economic or social collapse.
Having wrapped up its fourth season this August, the show has succeeded in achieving what nearly every reality TV series seeks to attain, shock value. It’s gained a very loyal following, and has become the most watched series airing on Nat Geo. And while most viewers would likely claim that they tune in for its absurdity more than anything, there’s undoubtedly another internal mechanism at work that is leading them to the television each and every week – and that mechanism is fear.
Whether we choose to hatch a grandiose plan for surviving the end of the world or not, there is a likely a little bit of “doomsday prepper” in each and every one of us. As Americans we are creatures of comfort. We tend to make decisions based upon what’s going to lead us to the greatest level of security. We’ve been trained to seek out opportunities to set ourselves up comfortably for the uncertain times that lie ahead. Like the “preppers” who have risen to survivalist stardom on Nat Geo, we make every effort to ensure personal stability in a world that is always threatening to turn itself upside down.
But we cannot by being careful or prepared avoid life’s adversities. We are not in control of most of the circumstances that arise in the world in which we live and if disaster strikes, there is no guarantee that we will have any ability to save ourselves from peril. Man cannot determine the timing nor can he predict the events that will lead to the end of the world. Only God knows the day and the hour.
Far too often we design our futures based upon our fears of today. There is no harm in prepping for the road ahead, but it’s critical that our plans be motivated by feelings of hope, not paranoia…by ideas of prosperity, not instability. When we make decisions based upon fear, we limit ourselves and restrain the positive influence that we may be destined to have upon the world and its people. We can become so obsessed with comfort and security that we neglect our true callings. And when we choose prepping for doomsday in lieu of chasing our dreams, the world suffers immensely.
I believe that now more than ever, given the current economic state in America, it’s easy to be motivated by fear and a need for personal financial security. As times have grown uncertain in a nation that was once very prosperous, many of us have felt the nudge to take on less risk and hunker down in survivalist mode. In a sense, we’ve been encouraged to launch our plans to “bug out” like the “preppers” on Nat Geo. From an employment perspective, we’ve felt the pressure to firmly establish positioning in a job with a stable salary and health benefits. On the real estate front, we’ve refinanced our homes and have locked in rock bottom interest rates before the inevitable rise begins again. And we’ve begun making plans to live a more frugal lifestyle at a time when the demands on our resources are greater than they’ve ever been. We’ll wait it out, and in time things will change…right?
Wrong. Nothing can ever possibly change unless we take action. We’ve been fooled into believing that there is security in the lifestyle that I’ve described above. Perhaps there is today. Or for the next couple of months or maybe even years. But in the long term, there will be no comfort gained by efforts made to wait out the storm. The individuals who will be successful in the future will find opportunities today to elevate themselves despite the unstable conditions raging on outside of their personal security bunkers. They will set sail on the rugged seas amidst the hurricane of instability that is our nation and this world and they will use the winds of change to propel them to new destinations of prosperity. They will create their own futures and will not consent to living as prisoners to fear and uncertainty.
In an insecure world, we are our only security. That may be a bit of an unsettling idea for some, but for those who believe in their talents and skills, for those who are willing to commit the time and the effort to developing their visions and chasing their dreams, the possibilities are endless. There are very few “prosperity” planners in our society today. Our nation has become overwhelmed with paranoid, “doomsday preppers” who desire nothing more than to hunker down and survive the times. So the opportunity is great for those who choose to live in hope and thrive under even the most unstable circumstances.
If I’ve learned anything of significance during my time on this earth, it is this: there is a God, and I am most certainly not Him. I can plan for life’s tragedies, but no matter how well prepared I may believe myself to be, there will always times when adversity will catch me by complete surprise. I cannot escape hardship by being fearful and prepared. And if I choose to limit myself by allowing my mind to be flooded with “what ifs” then I will also need to understand that as a consequence I will later be left with a whole lot of “what might have beens”. I don’t want to live in regret. I believe that God has called me to a greater purpose just as He has each and every one of you. And I believe that each of us is meant to live and fulfill that purpose despite any worldly circumstances that may seek to interfere with or deter our actions.
If we want to free the people of this world from the bunkers of security to which they’ve prepared to make their retreat when times get tough, we need to begin by taking action on our own dreams, leading by example, a life filled with hope. God will determine when our days up. We are not called to worry about the hour unknown. We are called to live in faith.
Prepping for doomsday is in essence the equivalent to putting down a deposit on turmoil. You only have so much time here on this earth. Invest it wisely. Choose to prep for prosperity instead. Don’t allow the instability of the world to cause you to live a small life driven by fear. You have been called to do BIG things, and the people of this world need you now more than ever.
May God Bless!