James says that we’re unaware of what tomorrow brings, and that our lives are too insignificant and short to think we can control the future. I’d be tempted to conclude that our efforts don’t matter. But that’s not where James goes. “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15). Anything more than that is arrogant.
Char and I lived through the death of a dream lately. Something big didn’t turn out the way we always thought it would.
Here’s the crazy part. It’s almost like we expected things to turn out the way we’d hoped. We imagined the future, and then considered ourselves entitled to what we’d dreamed.
We do this all the time. I catch myself thinking about what it will be like to write my next book, to move into our next building as a church, to pay off our mortgage, to retire, to grow old with my wife. I’ve pictured in advance how I expect my life to unfold.
I live like I’m in control of the future. The reality: I’m not in control, nor am I entitled to the future I’ve imagined.