The man with the money turned out to be a con-artist and a crook. And when everything came crashing down, I thought I’d been ruined. After months of negotiations, we were about to close on the sale of our business. Mentally, I was already spending the money. The night before the closing, the whole deal evaporated – in the space of one phone call. Poof! Gone! That happened 30 years ago. Now, I can look back, grateful for how it worked out. What seemed like a setback actually directed me down the road to a most satisfying and life-changing career. But at the time? Ouch! Would that I had known these words:
” 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.”” (James 4:13-15)
My wife and I have experienced more than one of those sudden detours. We have figured out how little we truly know or control what tomorrow holds. In response to that truth, James basically says, understand these two things:
- There is a God
- You are not Him
But he also adds this insight: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Not only do we not know what tomorrow holds, we also don’t know if tomorrow will exist for us! What do we do in the face of that reality?
“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 4:16-17)
- Be humble
- Since life is short, instead of building yourself a paradise you can’t keep, do good while you have the chance!
Chew on that…