Those who have taken preparedness training my have heard about the four states of readiness: Unaware, Aware, Alert and Alarm. The analogy I heard used was tied to riding in a car. If you are a passenger you can be very safe with your headset on and completely unaware. If you are the driver, however, you should at least be aware. As traffic starts to get squirrelly, your readiness should move to alert. If the car starts to fishtail as you brake, it is time for the alarm to go off. Notice, alarm is not panic, it is simply a heightened state of alertness. In a personal safety situation it is somewhere around the time you switch from alert to alarm that the “Fight or Flight” decision is made.

These four states can be appropriately applied to many situations in life: our family financial condition, our response to societal ills, interpersonal relationships including parent/child. These are the scenarios where the “Fight or Flight” decision changes to a decision about “going it alone” or asking for help. Asking for help can be  a vulnerable and humbling experience. Just as God stands ready to respond to your needs in a non-judgmental and loving manner,  you have neighbors willing to respond in the same manner.

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