Here on the Gulf Coast, we're familiar with the process of preparing for a storm. In the summer or fall, the process repeats itself: We hear a weather report of a disturbance in the Gulf. We watch it carefully for a day or two, paying close attention to the "cone of probability" that shows where the storm might make landfall. We watch as the storm is upgraded from a depression to a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane, and so on up the scale. Then, when it seems the storm is indeed headed toward us, we spring into action. Some of us stand in long lines at the hardware store and the supermarket, stocking up on supplies. Some have long since bought the lumber, generator and extra food and water we need, and we spend the next day or so boarding up our windows. And some of us choose to simply wait and see, hoping that the storm will take a last-minute turn away from us. We're hoping for Rita, not for Ike.
Fortunately for us, we live in an age of advanced technology, so we have several days to prepare for such a storm. But the spiritual storms of life--which can be far more destructive than a category 5 hurricane--often come without any warning at all. This Sunday, we'll be looking at Jesus' parable of the two builders in Matthew 7:24-27, as well as the other version of the parable in Luke 6:46-49. What does it take to be ready for any storm life throws at us?