Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just in Case

by My Anonymous Friend

Ever had a really frightening email or phone call? I assume all of us have at some point. I got one such email this past week. A friend sent me a note to say that his doctor had used the dreaded word “Cancer” as he diagnosed some concerns my friend went to see him about. Suddenly everything changes!

We both serve together on a board. My friend suggested we go to the bank to add one more name to be authorized to sign checks for our organization, “just in case!” As we talked about some plans we had to attend a football game together later this fall, my friend said, “Let's see first what happens, just in case! Several more times during our board meeting time he said, “Let's see what happens, just in case! My friend went on to tell us that he was rethinking the lease on a new car because it might not be needed in the future, – “just in case!!”

We tend to live our lives as though we will live forever even though we know full well that we will not. We simply assume we will do this or that tomorrow, next week, or next month. My friend's announcement this past week reminded me once again how fragile and temporal life is.

Scripture addresses this topic:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16).

Speaking or thinking as though we are in charge of our lives is called arrogance and evil by this Scripture. I was struck by the harshness of this idea. But when we really think about it, assuming we are in charge of our lives really is arrogance. We are taking upon ourselves a prerogative that is not ours to take. Although we may not actually say so, we are really telling ourselves we are in charge of our lives when we say, “I will do this or that tomorrow!” We shut God out and assume He has nothing to say about our lives.

We are not in charge and the experience of my friend this past week was a painful reminder to me of this truth. I often say, “"God willing” when I make plans with others but today that expression takes on a fuller meaning.

Have a great week and be careful how you make plans – “just in case!”

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