DayBreaks for 11/07/19: The Tragedy of Life
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2009:
What are your plans for the rest of your life? Are you planning for and looking for a “day” to arrive when you will do this, or that, or stop doing something (like work) so that you can “really live”? We are all, to some extent, awaiting something to change so that we can feel freer or can retire only to do what we want to do and not what we have to do. So, we make plans…
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. – James 4:13-16 (NLT)
Is there anything wrong with making some plans? No, there’s not. There are plenty of scriptures that teach us that very lesson by encouraging us to even look at creatures as simple as the ant who stores up for the rainy season. So, I don’t think that’s what James had in mind when he wrote his epistle. What is wrong is that we take God out of the entire scheme of things and forget about what He may want, or what He may do. That’s always the key message I’ve taken away from this passage. In a way, it’s like making myself into God and deluding myself into thinking that because I planned something, that it will inevitably happen because of who I am.
But perhaps there’s another message for us in this passage that I’ve missed. Remember the old saying about “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”? Our plans tend to involve the future. We put things off that are unpleasant (tasks we don’t like) or that are delightful (like taking the time to enjoy something God has given us – like our present level of health.) We put off so many things!
But is not part of the argument from James that we don’t know if tomorrow will come? Therefore, we should live life today – not always looking to the future. If we don’t, we’ll be deaf and blind to what God has already placed immediately before us, we will fail to appreciate enough the blessings of today if we are so focused on how we will enjoy things in the future (even eternal life!)
Richard L. Evans said: “The tragedy of life is not that it ends too soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” We are told that we “have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, among others). Why aren’t we living like it?
PRAYER: Lord, may we find the glory in each day and the blessing in each moment rather than being consumed by bitterness, despair and longing for the future. Open our eyes to allow us to live in eternal life this day and every day hereafter. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>