Preparation For A Catastrophic Day

Are you prepared for doomsday? Will you survive? We hear much about it these days. Someone said that doomsday is any catastrophic day. The dictionary defines catastrophe as “A final event; conclusion; generally, an unfortunate conclusion, calamity, or disaster.” Every day can be potentially catastrophic in corrections work and sometimes one catastrophe can lead to another. The key is preparation, and our survival depends on it. There are some things we can do to prepare which leads to knowing what to do next when the unexpected happens suddenly.

Physical training is essential, but we are more than just a physical body. We are made up of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Each part is affected by our work. Preparation promotes survival and makes it possible to even thrive in all three areas. What is going on in our spirit, soul, and body affects other custody staff. We need to admit any weaknesses we have and inquire with each another. There is wisdom in communicating our physical limitations to other officers and adjusting our routine so weaknesses are not exposed to the inmates. Only a fool would be transparent with the inmates, but communication with each other is vital to surviving and thriving as officers.

Environment has a lot to do with how long someone can last or hold out. Our environment in corrections work is toxic. There is only so much of the environment that we can control. God has given us the Holy Spirit, and He is not hindered by the corrections environment. He is still in control, trustworthy, and alive and well, able to instruct, comfort, bring peace, strengthen, and provide wisdom in every scenario. Thriving spiritually in the corrections world will be due to preparation and ongoing personal relationship with the Master who has given us all the needed tools. We will not make it because of our environment, but we can make it in spite of our environment as we rely on Him and His abundant supply.

A temptation may arise to become self-confident and self-sufficient saying inwardly, “I am prepared. I can handle it. I know what to do.” But we will run out of strength and might eventually. There will be something that comes to cripple us emotionally and mentally. We need God and we need each other. The self-sufficient and self-confident officer will not survive all the doomsdays in corrections work. Something will run out, what then? It doesn’t take long in corrections work to realize that we have deficiencies in some area of our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) that unless humbly admitted and dealt with, leaves us ill-prepared. We cannot of our own selves attempt to cope emotionally and last long. Inmates capitalize on our extreme emotions and everything in between. Our supply of mental strength will be exhausted some days as we endeavor to think and concentrate on details amidst continuous interruptions and constant noise. Staying open to admit our errors and accept instruction from others will help protect us from becoming dangerously headstrong in our own will. We all have our own ideas, but they won’t fit every scenario. Preparation will involve personal examination and transparency with God and other custody staff regarding our mind, will, and emotions.

This post was written by
Founder of Heirs of Restraint Ministries & Missouri Correctional Officer

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