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.” 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.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:13-17)
I read this and thought, how appropriate. It is at least for me, because I have fallen into making plans far ahead into the future without thinking about what might happen in between here and there. More than that, the people around me are desperate for some stability whether they recognize it or not. I aspire to be an example, if I can follow what God’s directed me. Of course, I have confidence I can as long as I remember to lean on God through it all.
My son is getting ready to go to his college orientation, and I am ready for him to go. He has changed since he’s given up tennis, but not for the worse like I feared. He’s still very interested in tennis and doesn’t hold a grudge against it. But, he hasn’t played in a long time, but that’s okay. Instead, he’s taken up golf and loves every minute of it.
We had a conversation a few days ago and he confided in me that he’s still unsure where he goes from here. He was so sure that God wanted him in tennis, but later admitted that he had been getting a nagging feeling that tennis was not his path in life, only a part of it. I told him to take it one day at a time, because we cannot make plans for things that may not be in our best interest. Only God knows what is really in our best interest and we must learn to wait on Him. God’s timing is always perfect, after all. I told him that with all of his talent (in every sport he’s ever played), he will probably be doing something in the sports atmosphere. There are so many ways to use his ability, whether it’s coaching, or training athletes or counseling them. Everyone needs guidance in many different pieces of life, he needs to choose the piece that he has learned the most and offer his help to others. If God wants him elsewhere, He will guide him and hopefully by now, my son has learned how to hear Him.
The scripture above tells me that if we waited to hear from the Lord, we probably wouldn’t make half the decisions we make that end up working against our plans. The problem is, when we want something so badly, it’s hard to hear from God Who may be telling us to turn away from our plans. We often hear only what we want to hear and when things don’t work out the way we want them to, we find a way to blame someone (usually the one who told us the truth) for our mistake. Living in this society, where the “I must have it” attitude thrives, it’s hard to break away from the way everyone else is thinking and acting. But when we’re able to break away from that, we can actually start seeing things clearer and understanding the way things should be rather than the way they are.
I look forward to see my son in school again where he will make new friends and really find out where God wants him to make a difference. Finally letting go of the dream was hard but I think he feels a new kind of freedom that has released his expectations and allowed him to find happiness. I know, corny, but his change in attitude has really opened my eyes to how he was before. Now, if he will stay focused on listening to what God is telling him, he will finally keep the peace that he has found and know that whatever comes his way, he can handle it. Interestingly enough, waiting for God isn’t as hard when we actually put our own desires down and look for God’s desires. After a little practice, we might discover that our desires have changes to match His. That’s when we know we’ve found the lasting peace we’ve read about so many times.