James 4:13-14: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make profit.’ You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes.”
|We think he got Emily!|
I love Thanksgiving. It is a holiday that directs us to think about things bigger than ourselves without the responsibilities for buying candy, gifts, and trees or making extravagant celebration plans. The menu is laid out pretty much the same from year to year and we focus on being together. And that is what I appreciate most about Thanksgiving – we plan to be together and express our corporate thanksgiving for how God has blessed us.
Of course, implicit in any holiday celebration is at least a little bit of planning, and we had more than the usual details to plan for our celebration. For the first time in our family’s existence, we planned to travel away from home to enjoy Thanksgiving. This wasn’t without a significant amount of schedule changes, phone calls, and personal sacrifices for the good of the others. We were looking forward to our trip to Lancaster, PA, to see Uncle Chuck and Aunt Christine and the kids!
And then the phone rang.
Aunt Christine suggested we study the weather map prior to leaving Wednesday morning because of the predicted snow storm that could drop as much as six inches of snow on a large portion of our intended route. Sure enough, when we awoke Wednesday morning, the predictions appeared to be accurate. In spite of our disappointment, we decided that we would have to make the trip some other time.
Now what would we do? We quickly made alternate plans to travel south of Cincinnati to the Creation Museum. Not everyone was super excited about the new plans, but I was proud that everyone was willing to make a go of it. Off we went to Kentucky.
Without going into all the detail, I have to say that I was so pleased with the way that all of you were willing to accept the change in plans and make what could have been a real downer a wonderful day. Even Emily, who had planned to work and wasn’t planning to go with us to Pennsylvania, changed her Thursday plans so that she could be at home with us for Thanksgiving dinner.
These circumstances reminded me of today’s passage from the Bible and the importance of being open to God’s changing our direction at any time. He wants us to plan our lives based on what we know at a given time. He desires that we use our gifts and abilities the best way we can in order to bring glory to Him. However, He also calls us not to get so tied up in our own planning that we forget to rely on Him for every detail of our lives.
Life is full of the need to make wise plans. But at any given time, God may call us to change our plans. It may be a major life direction, a ministry-related matter, or even a holiday travel plan. The real question is, are we always listening for His voice of direction, or are we going to ignore Him and unwisely travel right through the snowstorm?