I’m notorious for doing what James warns about in James 4:13, “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.” Well, I don’t say that exactly! I do however like to make plans and get things on the calendar in January. I especially like to plan vacations and trips. I get a fresh spiral notebook and favorite pen then search through all my favorite sites where I find great bargains. I research and compare trying to find the perfect combination of flight, accommodations and car. I’m not usually satisfied unless I get 60%-90% off retail. It brings me great joy and gratification when it all comes together. The planning is half the fun for me.
This past week was the one-year marker for living in Oklahoma. So, as James says we did go to this city, spent a year here, carried on business, and made money(?). That isn’t an actual exegeses of the verse. Moving somewhere new is traumatic enough but changing lifelong roles is over the top. It is actually where I imagined the trauma would end. To our surprise, “over the top” was, later, to be reflected on as a desirable place to stay. If only we could have stayed there, I would have pitched my tent with extra stakes and settled in quite happily. A few weeks after we moved here the notorious C-virus hit and we were locked in a new city in a rental house.
In some ways it feels like a lifetime, and other ways it seems as though we are still figuring out our life. We finally got our driver’s license and car tags! I figured we’d get a pass considering the year of 2020. It’s the first time I’ve missed attending church weeks at a time in my entire life. I know I am not alone in this experience. I’m grateful we found a few open churches to attend and, then, Bill got the opportunity to be the interim pastor for a wonderful church. That has been a blessing.
This may be the first year in our married life that we didn’t go on a vacation! We both feel the effects of that every day. Before this month ends, I am determined to get a fresh spiral notebook and my favorite pen, then search through all my favorite sites where I find great bargains. I have a hopeful feeling that this year it is going to happen. I see a vacation in our future … but, then again, I can’t omit verses 14-15, “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.’”
So, I am reminded that I am not in charge of my life. I make a point to daily pray and ask God what today needs to look like for Him to be pleased with me. I have been bought with a price; the precious blood of Jesus. In my planning I hold onto Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Hawaii here we come … if it is the Lord’s will!