Sunday, November 23, 2014

This week's lesson (November 22-28): one lawgiver and judge

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. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. -- James 4:13-17, NIV.
"I never thought this would happen."

Grieving families often say this about death.

Unfortunately, so could the person who died.
  • That's why there's no will.
  • That's why there's no Power of Attorney.
  • That's why there's no Advanced Directive -- much less any conversation about end-of-life care that took place when it might have done some good.
No, we thought nothing bad would ever happen -- that death, disease, and disability may be inevitable for other people, but not for those we love . . . 
And certainly not for us!
But wishful thinking is no substitute for wisdom -- the kind of wisdom James talks about, the kind of wisdom that recognizes:
  • Stock markets don't just go up; they also fall.
  • Real estate prices don't just rise; they also go down.
  • And the what, when, where, how, and why of death may be a mystery -- but when it comes to the who, the answer so far is, "pretty much everybody."
To be sure, we can still make plans; there's nothing wrong with saying, "We will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."
Just remember what else could happen.
And make sure you plan for that too. 

No comments: