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For other activities, see the Activities Chapter.

The inspiration for this came to me as I was preparing to teach the wilderness survival merit badge. One of the central themes to wilderness survival is a list of seven priorities. I wondered if there was an equivalent set for spiritual survival. To my surprise, I was able to come up with a pretty good list. It went over well as a Scoutmaster Minute.

Below is the wilderness survival priority list item followed by the spiritual survival item.

  1. Positive Attitude => Loving Attitude - This is based on the greatest commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind: this is the first commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:30-31).
  2. First Aid => Forgiveness - Taken from the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" (Matthew 6:12). It's important to heal the wounds we have inflicted on others and allow wounds that others have inflicted on us to heal. We can hurt others by our thoughts, words, deeds, and what we fail to do.
  3. Fire => Talk with God - Talking with God kindles His fire that burns inside each of us.
    Talking can take the form of:
  4. Shelter => Participate in Church and its Activities - Surround yourself with people and activities that help you grow in God and this will shelter you from evil.
  5. Signaling => Perform Good Deeds - As St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." Or perhaps you've heard of the saying, "Actions speak louder than words." Faith without good deeds is empty. Remember the Boy Scout Slogan, "Do a good turn daily."
  6. Water => Learn about Good People - There is so much emphasis in the media today on negatives - people who do bad things. Study the lives of the saints or people who are doing good in the world. Learn from them and try to emulate their behavior. This can sustain you for a short period of time.
  7. Food => Learn about God - This is the food for your soul. Read the Bible. Read explanations of the Bible. Learn about the meaning and reasons behind the passages from scholars who have studied the language, history, culture, beliefs, thinking, and practices of the people at the time it was written.

Copyright © 2005 Vincent Hale