"To be prepared is half the
victory." Miguel de Cervantes
The story is told of a farmer who
decided to hire someone to help him care for his prosperous property. The
only applicant was an older man with a limp. The farmer, a little
disappointed, reluctantly offered the man the job, but expressed his
concern to the prospective employee that he couldn’t work as hard as
someone younger and without physical limitations.
“Don’t worry,” said the older
man. “You won’t be disappointed. I can work as hard as someone
half my age, and besides, I can sleep when the wind blows.” The farmer
was puzzled but didn’t say anything.
A few weeks later, the farmer woke
in the middle of the night to the sound of a huge approaching
storm. He roused his son and told him to run and get the hired man
from the bunkhouse so they could tend to the animals, equipment, and
buildings before the storm hit with all its fury.
He rushed to the barns to see what
he could do to protect his farm from the dangerous gale. His son
caught up to him shortly and reported he couldn’t wake the old
timer. This angered the farmer, and he swore he’d take care of that
unreliable hireling as soon as his farm was safe.
But as he and his son went from
barn to barn and shed to shed, they found that all the animals were safely
within their stalls and corrals. All the tools and equipment were put
away and locked up. All the doors and gates were closed tight. Everything
was battened down; nothing was amiss. There wasn’t a single thing they
needed to do, except go back to bed. The farm was safely sheltered
from the storm.
Then it came to him in a
flash. He remembered — and finally understood — what the older man with
the limp had said in the job interview: “I can sleep when the wind
blows.” He shook his head in amazement and appreciation, then went
back to the house with his son. He climbed back into bed, but he
didn’t sleep. All he could think about was a hired man, wise with
years, who could sleep when the wind blows.
Can you sleep when the wind
Trouble will surely come to all of
us sooner or later, but we need not be paralyzed in its
path. Preparation is the antidote to fear. Anticipating and
addressing future dangers will give us peace of mind. Living lives of
integrity and service will give us fortitude and resilience in the storms
of life. As my boyhood scoutmasters admonished us, “Be Prepared.”