It comes down to this. We aren't in as much control as we think we are.
My husband, two teens and I just returned from a 12-day trip where we dealt with two cancelled flights, luggage that went ahead of us, an airline cancelling our entire trip (which was, fortunately able to be reinstated), multiple work-related issues popping up that required my husband to spend too many hours to address them, and most seriously, the dying process of my beloved 84-year-old dad. He could hang on for weeks or months, or he could be gone tomorrow.
We just don't know.
We often go through life treating it as an if/then equation. IF we do this, THEN this will happen.
It doesn't happen that way.
I am so incredibly grateful for the life I have today. However, I am reminded of the verse in James that says, "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." (James 4:14b, English Standard Version).
In the realm of eternity, it really doesn't matter if I live 52+ years or if I live 84+ years like my dad. We're both going to die. I can make all the plans I want, but I have little control as to whether or not these plans will come to fruition.
While I'm still in the book of Judges in my Bible writing project, I can't help but think ahead to the book of Ecclesiastes:
"Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth. 11 The words of the wise prod us to live well.
They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together.
They are given by God, the one Shepherd.
But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
Do what he tells you.
And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:9-14, The Message).
And what does God tell me? What does he require of me?
"But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously -- take God seriously. (Micah 6:8, The Message)
I am quite the moody gal ... grateful, but saddened; happy, yet mourning. Such is the life that just can't be planned.