Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-14
Yikes. So this week I have realized that I am totally at the mercy of my planner. I mean completely, totally, absolutely, irrefutably. It’s almost frightening, actually. Once upon a time I could juggle lesson plans for five classes and keep track of the grades of seventy different students at any given time – all in my head. Well, gone are those days. In my current job, I typically meet with my boss every other Thursday. Not so hard to remember, right? Well, this week was an every-other and when he asked about it, I looked at him stupidly; with what I’m sure was a blank expression on my face. I hadn’t written it down, thus had no idea that we were supposed to be meeting.
Needless to say, being a single working mom of an almost-toddler, my life is now run by a series of lists. A calendar along with a master to-do list, complete with subcategories that would bring a CEO to his knees. If it’s not on the calendar or on the list, there is basically no chance it’s going to happen.
Yet no amount of planning can take into account the upheaval that daily living causes. The truth is, in spite of all of my careful lists and schedules; I really have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow. I am privy to what’s going on this minute, but that is really about it.
It’s what James was talking about in today’s verses. We claim we know what’s going on and feel powerful that we can plan our lives down to the last millisecond, but our real focus should be on what God has for our lives. The temptation with lists and planners and schedules is to feel that we are master of our own domain, king of the castle. Yet we aren’t – God is. So if you’re like me and your life is micromanaged overly much, clear a path for the Creator. Give Him room to work and remember to be flexible with all that planning.
Because the reality is, we can’t plan out exactly how to serve God when we have no idea what He will bring our way tomorrow. We have to leave room for everything that He might do in our lives, and be able to adapt to His master plan as He sees fit.