James 4:13-16 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
Warning about Self-Confidence 13Look here, you people 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." 14How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone. 15What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." 16Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.
It was early morning as I tiptoed downstairs to find the world bathed in morning fog. It looked so beautiful that I quickly photographed the orchard and fields that stretch from the back of the house. I turned on the tap and filled the coffee pot with fresh water and measured out four scoops of coffee, breathing in its rich aroma. While I waited for the coffee to do its bubbling, snorting, dripping thing, I unloaded the dishwasher, making the most of the minutes that seem to pass all too quickly every morning before work. By the time I poured a mug of rich, dark coffee, the mist was already vanishing.
All of our lives, solid and permanent as they seem to us, are just as ephemeral. We are here for a short while and then gone, and one day the places we inhabited, the things we treasured and enjoyed, will pass into other's hands. I guess then, that I really want my life, long or short, to have a point and for that point to be the one God has in mind!
James reminds me this morning to live in utter reliance on God's guidance, not making plans independently, as if he had no purpose for my life.
Prayer: Lord, most of the time I live like I was going to be here forever, but you remind me that true wisdom is to live with a sense of the brevity of life. Far from being morbid, this should have the effect of intensifying the deep joy of each moment lived and filling it with purpose.