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.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. (NLT)
If life seems to be outside your control, you are right! One of our great illusions, especially amongst the wealthy or powerful, is that we are capable of managing life so it is bent to our will. By efficient organisation, or profound knowledge, or sheer force of will, we think we can control life.
Ultimately, life is outside of our control. Trying to gain or regain control is both exhaustive and futile. Our Christian faith reminds us of this. Our eternal destiny does not simply rely on us. We need an offer of salvation which thankfully was offered by Jesus. We can’t save ourselves.
And as our text reminds us, we can’t imagine that all our plans and purposes will be carried out. Some will be, but some will come crashing down. No problem with making our plans and thinking ahead, but we need always remember that only God has the whole world in his hands. We do not.
Pride has us imagine we run the show. When the show shows signs of strain or collapse it is an opportunity for us to recognise that we are bit players in this human drama. We do have a part to play but the one who wrote and directs the play has the last word. Sensing things are out of control is uncomfortable and even threatening. Then again, relinquishing the illusion of control may be the doorway to true humility and deeper faith.