26 April 2011

James: Do Not Boast About Tomorrow

James 4: 13-17

13 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.” 14 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. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. 

 I could write a book on this tiny little passage, because I am so guilty of making my plans and forgetting all about including God in them or consulting with Him first!  It's not that I mean to, but we are so accustomed to doing our own thing, making our own way, creating our own little schedules, that we forget there is a MUCH bigger plan out there, and a MUCH mightier God out there who wants us to put Him first and not last when it comes time to planning our lives.  It's almost laughable.  I mean who do we think we are that we can do ANYTHING without Him?  Much less, plan our lives!

As a teacher, planning is detrimental to running a proper classroom.  You have to thing broad scale, long term, and constantly measure how well your students are learning.  You have to constantly plan each day's events in order to meet your learning goals.

As a mom, planning is detrimental for pure survival!  Just kidding, but sort of true!  Moms don't only have to teach, but feed, clean, wash, and take care of their little ones, so planning is even more detrimental for life.

We all have to plan and schedule and keep a calendar of events for our lives to run smoothly, but sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and we forget WHO is directing our steps and leading us.  We can become haughtly and proud about our little schedules and then when something interferes with our plans we can become angry at God for messing with our lives.  But if we take each day as it comes (and trust me I am STILL learning this one and God is constantly working on me) and each step as it comes and surrender our hearts/lives to Him no matter what is thrown at us or comes in our path, we can look to Him who directs and leads us for wisdom, peace, and guidance!  Thank goodness we have a Shepherd, right???  One of the first verses, besides Ephesians 6:1 (children obey your parents) was Psalm 23: 1 The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want!

Some verses that remind me of the sovereignty of God, and how He knows all my plans even before I make them are: (NKJ version)

Psalm 33:10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 19: 21 There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel-that will stand.

Don't laugh, but lately I've been realizing the more I just "give the day to the Lord" and take one step and each moment at a time, the happier I am, the more relaxed I feel, and the better my kids behave and learn.  For example, today we were outside playing and waiting for Aunt Laurie to come over and the kids were really nervous about all the bees.  I calmly kept telling them not to be worried, the bees won't sting them, just leave them alone.  But they were really worried.  I took the time to explain how bees pollinate and go to each flower and their goal is to make honey, etc, etc, we went for a wagon ride around the block, we looked for bees, we talked about bees, and I realized this week we are learning everything we can about bees, in fact maybe even this month!  Because we see bees, we hear them, the kids are interested in them, and there is a lot even I can learn, and instead of stressing out or worrying about being outside, I made it a teachable moment, and God gave me a curriculum change idea!  It's little things like that when we just give them over to the Lord that He helps us and guides us and directs are very next steps.

So, if the Lord wills, that's what we will be learning about for the next few days around here, BEES!  Thank you Lord for directing my steps, giving me counsel, and living in my heart!

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