James 4:13-17 (ESV)
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and them vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
How many of us want to remain in control of our lives? Control of what we eat, when we sleep, what we do from day to day, how we dress, who we associate ourselves with, where we go. And the list goes on and on.
Now how many of us want to tell others about what we are doing? How many of us want to tell others about how we are controlling our lives?
In some cases this could be equated with arrogance. Now please don’t take it to calling you arrogant. I’m not, I’m just looking at the passage and reflecting on a conversation I had earlier this week and trying to get the thought out on paper.
Let’s face it, at times we are all a little arrogant. This passage is saying that we are arrogant about being arrogant. We do this by saying what we are going to do in advance to others without confronting God. James is asking us how we can boast about how we are living out lives, attempting to control them, when they are not ours to begin with. God has planned how our lives will turn out. Yet we still want to take control of our lives.
WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL!!
Our lives are but mist in God’s timeline and can be taken from us at any given moment. We do not not know what tomorrow holds for us.
A few years ago I read this passage and decided to start adding God willing to my future plans. Over time this did not stick and I have found myself in need of a reminder. I have gotten to the point of being arrogant about being arrogant. Especially when it comes to life after college. I want to plan it myself and am finding myself in a stressful and fruitless situation. Only when I turn this over to God will my life make any sense.
As Carrie Underwood would say “Jesus take the Wheel.”
I am not in control of my life.
I am not first.