Make Plans to Enjoy Life. James 4:13-17.

May 20th, 2009

James 4:13-17.

 4:13.  Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'';
 4:14.  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
 4:15.  Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.''
 4:16.  But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
 4:17.  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Make Plans, Enjoy Life.

Life requires planning. To not have a plan is to bounce from moment to moment, reacting to circumstances of our environment, to the demands of others around us. We are at the mercy and under the control of whatever god, or Satan, throws our way.

When we do make a plan, make it so that we include God in it. Even if it is only to acknowledge, as James says, "If the Lord wills, we'll live and do this or that."

To borrow a phrase, "I love it when a plan comes together." Planning gives a sense of accomplishment. We can take a measure of pride in our success. Sometimes it's easy to forget to include God, or recognize the way he worked to bles the outcome. We can get too busy patting ourselves on the back and glowing in the results of the event.

Think about this common, everyday chore. It's breakfast and I want to have pancakes. I make a plan by rounding up all the ingredients, the pan and utensils. I carry out the plan by mixing the ingredients, frying the batter up on the stove top, and stacking the finished product on my plate at the breakfast table. Add the finishing touch of a healthy supply of syrup, and yum. Now I can boast in my pride in my accomplishment. But where's God in all this? Is it a bad thing that I can do this simple task?

Well, it leads to taking things for granted. God is in the picture in that, because of his previous blessings, I can be blessed this morning with a full belly of nourshment.

God has blessed me in the past with just having the groceries on my shelf. I didn't have to raise the wheat, or grind it into flour. And that egg, not likely that I'd ever be able to make or grow one of those. At one time in my past, I didn't own a working stove. It's kind of difficult to do any cooking without one. Even the process of making fire to cook is a chore when you don't have a match, or some other source to make a spark off of. God has blessed me with good enough health and motor skills to do the physical work of mixing and cooking, and even eating. Because of that relative good health, I have been able to work at a job to ern money to purchase the tools and ingredients.

It's not a matter of God not being in each little thing that we do. We should  learn to give credit where it is due to him. Not that I'm saying to spend every waking moment of the day thanking God for things. "Thank you God, for my socks, thank you god for  toothpicks, thanks God for plastic wrap," you get the idea. That would be a little silly, an interesting exersize, but silly. In early bible history it claims that the people always had their thoughts on evil things. The result was the flood. Wiping out the evil ways and starting fresh. Often as we make various plans, big and small, throughout the day, take those idle moments in between to think about God.

Our life is short enough as it is. Life is fragile, and can be gone in amoment. The thing to do is to enjoy each new day as it comes. Take time to notice the blessings that God has given us. Take time to smell the roses, play with the kids, enjoy watching the squirrels playing on the back lawn. Just as with life itself, those moments are leeting. Flowers grow fast and wither even faster once you pick them. Kids seem like they will be an annoyance, and in your hair for ever. There comes a day when your house is full of teenagers, or empty, and all you have left is the echos and memories of those little kids who used to live here, long ago. Those little animals in the yard are wild, and can't be owned. They run away when you come close, but they can still be enjoyed from a distance.

Such things are like the icing on the cake of God's creation. The little flourish in the design, the fringe along the edge, the artistic touch of life.

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