[notice] A fortnightly column by Anna Heydenrych.[/notice]
Have you ever planned something for a particular day and hoped that the weather would be perfect when the designated day arrived? Perhaps you planned a picnic, a braai or an outdoor excursion, and when you woke up on the day of the event, the weather was anything but ideal. Gale-force winds, torrential rain – that kind of thing.
Now, consider another scenario that you may have encountered. You woke up on a Saturday morning to an unexpectedly beautiful and calm day – the perfect day to gather your friends and family and do something interesting outdoors. Did you take the opportunity when it presented itself?
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” — James 4:13-14
I don’t think James means to say that we should not make plans. There are other verses in the Bible that support the view that planning ahead when working according to a God-aligned strategy is a good, and in fact necessary thing. I think that James is however stressing the point that we should not make plans without God. We should not look at our lives and considering our needs, make plans to fulfill these needs that negate our need for God.
When we make plans without God, we are in fact living our lives in accordance with the worldview that we are in control and that we can predict the outcome and make the best choices on our own without consulting our Maker and King of the Universe. It’s like that picnic we planned. We had all of the snacks ready and packed, a perfect location picked out, all of the guests were invited and we even had our outfit laid out and ready the night before. When the day came, we were unable to realize our plans, and we felt frustrated and short-changed, and maybe even a bit humiliated to have to call it all off.
Let’s rather take our plans to God. Even if we do not quite know, or cannot quite see right now how it will all work out. Let’s share the desires of our hearts with our Father God. Then, let’s hope that one day we wake up and the sun is shining and the setting is ideal for us to step out into the promises and plans that God has revealed to us.