One thing I have struggled with as we have pared-down our belongings over the last couple of years is the nagging question, “What if I need this again someday?” While it’s true that I haven’t given a second thought to the overwhelming majority of stuff we’ve eliminated, there is still one area where I find value in the “excess.”
Disaster preparedness. Now, I’m not talking about filling an underground bunker in your backyard (though more power to you if you have one)! But I do believe that having extra food, water and medical supplies on hand can lessen the burden of any emergency.
You might not be preparing for a zombie apocalypse, but just about anything can happen. Take for example the recent, catastrophic flooding of historic proportions that my beautiful state of South Carolina endured. The entire area was declared under a state of emergency, roads were washed out, and the water supply was contaminated. Many people had no water service at all. The governor asked everyone to stay off the roads in an effort to clear the way for emergency responders to do their jobs.
While our family was very fortunate not to have any flood damage, our neighbors down the road suffered devastating losses. In the midst of the chaos, it was comforting to know that we had stored water for drinking and weeks’ worth of food on hand. Grocery stores were running low or completely out of the “basics.” Because we had supplies on hand, we did not have to run out and purchase the same items that others desperately needed. Having a stockpile of supplies also meant that we could give out of our excess directly to those affected by the flooding.
As a minimalist, it can be tempting to purge anything and everything that isn’t essential right now. At the same time, as a preparedness-minded individual, I often consider what might be essential in the future.
While ultimately my hope and faith belong in the Lord Jesus Christ, I do believe that we are called to be prudent in our preparations for the future.
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
-Proverbs 22:3 NLT
So what about you? Do you have trouble finding balance between what you need now and what you might need later? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!