Here's James chapter 4, verse 13 to the end:
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow, we shall 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 shall live and also do this or that." But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.Let me get one trivial thing out of the way now. Every time I read this passage, I think I ought to learn to read New Testament Greek (which, yes, I really should) just to see what Greek figure of speech for a non-specific example the New American Standard has translated as "such and such a city." I bet it would be interesting.
About the passage, though: it teaches a lesson that's very easy to agree with, but quite difficult to remain aware of afterward. If someone reminds us: sure, we all know very well that we have no idea what's happening tomorrow, or five minutes from now, as far as that goes. But when no one reminds us otherwise, we naturally appoint ourselves Owner and Arranger of Tomorrow. It's very natural, in a way. In my 55.3-year lifetime, about 20,200 mornings have occurred, and guess what? I've been present at every last one of them! On all those mornings, I've never not been there. (Although, truth to tell, I don't remember very much about the first couple thousand or so.) So, obviously, I'll never not be here for any mornings in the future, either ... or, at least, that's how it feels.
Once again, feelings prove unreliable. And that shouldn't be any surprise.
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