pay attention

Pay attention, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a town. We will stay there a year, buying and selling, and making a profit.” You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for only a short while before it vanishes. Here’s what you ought to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 CEB)

  • We believe if we study, work hard, and do such consistently, success is sure to follow. But we have many friends who’ve done just that all their lives and are yet to “make it.”
  • We dream of great things we’ll leave behind and that we’ll never be forgotten. But we know its no dream that no cemetery is short of unknown people.
  • We talk like we can know exactly how things will play out in the future. But we all know we struggle with just understanding the present.
  • We think accidents, disease, misfortune, and death happens only to others. But in our saner moments our thoughts tell us otherwise.
  • We feel like we’re entitled to many good things in life. But our emotions won’t acquire for us a thimble full of those things.
  • We act like endless opportunities in life are lined up right in front of us. But we know it doesn’t work that way.
  • We tend to live like we’ll live here forever. But we know no one gets out of here alive.

So pay attention. You’re only here for a little while. Whatever good you experience is a gift from God. Give yourself over to him. Live like he’s involved with your life. For he is. Mightily so.

Get real! You say, “I’m going to do this and that. I’ll do it on this date and in this place. Here’s how long I’ll be about it and then I’ll be raking it in.” Really? You don’t really know about your life or what lies ahead. Let me remind you. You’re here about as long as the morning fog. Period. So this needs to be your perspective: “If it’s the Lord’s will, we’ll live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 DSV)

Father in heaven, I will not forget my complete dependence on you. And help me to do just that – to depend on you completely. Let it be.

when flowers fall

“Those who are wealthy should find satisfaction in their low status, because they will die off like wildflowers. The sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass so that its flowers fall and its beauty is lost. Just like that, in the midst of their daily lives, the wealthy will waste away.” (James 1:10-11 CEB)

We should notice when flowers fall.

  • They say to us, “Life is fragile.”
  • They keep us from forgetting that life passes by very quickly.
  • They tell us beauty does not last.
  • They cause us to remember the need to think ahead.
  • They declare how dependent all things are on the God who gives.
  • They remind us death is inevitable.
  • They speak to us of how “the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.”

“Those who make wealth their god can rest assured their status in God’s eyes is abysmally low. As surely as wildflowers are quickly gone, they will do the same. The rising sun’s scorching heat sucks the life out of them so that whatever beautiful blooms they have are quickly gone, dried up and withered away in midlife.” (James 1:10-11 DSV)

Heavenly Father, let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, that I may see you forever. Amen.