My parents gave me a new coffee maker for Christmas. My favorite feature is the ability to set the timer to make coffee early in the morning so that it is ready when I get out of bed.

A few nights ago, I set the timer and went to sleep. The next morning, just like in an old-school Folgers’ commercial, I woke up to the smell of coffee brewing! I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen.

I turned on the kitchen light, grabbed my favorite mug and walked toward the coffee maker. And that’s when I noticed a problem: my countertop was covered in coffee. The night before, I had forgotten to place the coffee pot underneath the coffee maker!

Moral of the story? Preparation is in vain if incomplete.

I’ve known a lot of believers who live a “preparation” lifestyle that is incomplete. They are always “getting ready” to be a better parent, better church member, better witness, better spouse; but their preparation never comes to fruition. It’s as if they can’t get past preparation to implementation.

Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps you’ve been guilty of sitting through countless evangelism trainings without ever sharing the gospel outside of class. Yet, each time you sign up for the next training you say, “this is going to change everything.” Or maybe for you it’s an addiction to the latest book, dvd set, or sermon series.

Whatever it is, if you never move from preparation to implementation, all of your potential will spill out and be a waste –like a puddle of coffee on the countertop.

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).