Week Thirty-One, 2019
BOASTING ABOUT TOMORROW
In November of 1963, president Kennedy was busy being President and preparing for his re-election. As he paraded down a street in Dallas, he was all smiles. A shot rang out and in an instant he was dead. He never graced the podium at the end of the route and he never gave the speech he was prepared to give within minutes. In an instant all his plans for tomorrows washed away.
We may not have experienced that severe of a change, but we all have had unexpected things alter our plans. Last year, as I was walking down a German street, little did I know that within thirty minutes I would be lying unconscious in the ICU of a German hospital.
“Many of those who die today have plans for tomorrow. Do not take life for granted, but in the blinking of an eye, all could change, even your very life. You do not even know what will happen tomorrow”(James 4:13-14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1). The Bible is clear, and the list goes on.
It was that great fictional character Alfred E. Neuman who graced the covers of many Mad Magazines telling readers to not worry. But that’s hard. Even for a Christian, that’s hard. One of our biggest problems is that we want to plan our lives so things will go the way we want them to go or to plan our lives so that things won’t go the way we don’t want them to go.
I can identify with that. At a young age, I thought I had everything figured out and aimed in the direction I wanted them to go. “Leave me alone to do my own things, God, and spend your time working with people who need your help because they aren’t as smart as me,” I thought. Well, did God show me a thing or two.
I was prepared to give God the plan for my life so he could stamp “approved” on it and let me go on my way. Well, God got His stamp out all right, but rather than stamping “approved” on my plans, he stamped me right in the forehead. He made it clear that what He wanted was a blank piece of paper with my signature at the bottom, so that he could fill in the plans.
I admit that I am a worrier, so I have to stay particularly tuned to what the Bible says about worry. Bad things are going to happen, but when God wants to move us to bigger and better blessings, He often allows a storm to pour upon us, because after the rain, every plant grows better.
I guess the real fact of the matter is, we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. So, don’t stay mad for too long. Learn to forgive. Love with all your heart. Have fun. Live your life the way you want to live it. Don’t worry about people that don’t like you. Enjoy the ones who do.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
• Nearly one in three need a second job in order to stay financially afloat.
• Beware: Those robocallers really want you to call them back at a cost to you of up to $20 a minute. Americans receive an average of five billion robo calls each month and nearly 60% are fraud from fraudsters. Florida is right at the top of the list in the volume received.
• John Maxwell has a neat book entitled “Failing Forward.” The Subtitle is “Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success.” The thesis is that we all fail. But some fail backwards. And others fail forward. Successful people respond positively to their failures. They learn. Grow. And achieve.
• China’s goal is to compete with and surpass the United States as the world’s leading economic power. If current trends persist, by 2050, China’s economy will be much larger than America’s—perhaps three times larger, according to some projections. Scary!!
• Shelley O’Brien runs a hotel in Yale, Michigan, a small town north of Detroit. She is making headlines because of her offer to women who live in states where abortion is restricted: if they come to Yale, “we will support you with several nights lodging and transportation to and from your appointment.” O’Brien likens her support of abortion to the Underground Railroad that was used to lead slaves to freedom.
• Decluttering is the act of removing clutter from a room, an area, etc. Removing items from our home that we know are no longer needed and are creating crowded messes or confusion
• And an airplane passenger opened the emergency exit door after mistaking it for the toilet. Fortunately, the plane was still on the ground. Unfortunately, the exit slide deployed automatically and the flight was delayed by seven hours.
• When John Wesley died there were 115,000 in his discipleship group. How many are in yours?
• God did not make you because the world needs another human to add to the 7.7 billion already here. He made you because he has a purpose for you that no one else can fulfill.
• Sight is a major factor in temptation. Be careful what you let your eyes see.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
You know you are getting old if it takes you longer to rest than it did to get tired.
I am in a time of my life where doing errands counts as “going out.”
Home is where dog hair sticks to everything but the dog.
In a culture that has jettisoned biblical truth and authority for consumeristic religion, it’s not surprising that unexplained suffering drives many people further from God. —Jim Denison
Money is a tool, not a goal.