For the past few days I have visiting some pretty significant places – the Howard Taft Museum, the Creation Museum, and today the Freedom Center (Underground Railroad) Museum. Of all the things I have seen and experienced, the thing I am taking away from each of these is the inordinate amount of time that I spend – wasting time. When you see the monumental things that people have done with their lives, despite overwhelming odds and then look at your life and see that you have made excuse after excuse for not doing this, or completing this – and all the while you spend "X" number of hours watching television or lounging around – well, it makes you take a real good life at your life and maybe even think about James the 4th chapter:
13 Come now [and pay attention to this], you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and carry on our business and make a profit." 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air]. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and we will do this or that."James 4:13-15 (AMP)
It sounds so important to talk about grandiose plans to do "this, or that" – yet what assurance do you have that you will ever accomplish those plans? It is one thing to work hard and save money and set a goal to travel the world when you retire – yet what if something happens to wipe out your money, or some other calamity occurs which prevents you from ever achieving that goal?
As it says above, life is but a ‘vapor’, "a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot".We can’t foretell what will happen from day to day, let alone be assured of a far away future. The best we can do is to set out what we think we are hearing from God and then say, "if the Lord wills, we will live and we will do this or that". It does not negate God;’s heart for us to have a good and fruitful life, yet trying to determine our own path without consulting the God who made us, may lead us down rabbit trails that are not really accomplishing anything worthwhile. It has been said "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans…"(multiple sources are given credit for this).
The wisdom of Solomon still rings true today –
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. Proverbs 16:9 (MSG)
And that which He enables us to do – Just Do It! Again, Solomon gives us warning:
One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones, and then passed the vineyard of a lout; They were overgrown with weeds, thick with thistles, all the fences broken down. I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened: "A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, with poverty as your permanent houseguest!" Proverbs 24:30-34 (MSG)