From a young age we’ve instilled in our children the need to plan ahead for the future.
After all, we want to make sure that we’re prepared in every way for what may occur, and that’s why we think weeks, months and years ahead in our planning.
But what if we lived a day at a time?
In Numbers chapter 9 we read about the cloud of the Lord that covered the Tabernacle, which looked like a pillar of fire.
It led God’s people in this way:
Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. (Numbers 9:17)
But the amount of time at one place would vary from a single day to even a year, and they would move with very little notice.
God’s people lived a day at a time, waiting afresh to see what the Lord had in mind for their community.
This seems so different to the way we plan out our lives, sometimes with less regard for the overarching will of God.
We don’t have a tabernacle any more, but still we have this important warning in the letter of James:
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
This is why it’s good practice for us to say, “God willing” when we speak about the future, for it shows our humility as we live in the world that is lovingly lead by our Lord.
What’s more, it can also open up opportunities for us to share our deep trust in our Lord, as we live in a world that increasingly ignores the creator and his gracious redemption for all who turn to him.
(photo credit: Dafne Cholet via Flickr.com)