Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Vanishing Vapor


 
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-15

I woke up late today – 6:30 instead of before 5 o’clock.  I had my usual hug from my sweet hubby at the coffee pot.  I came back to my desk to study and saw my work email was open, which is not as it should be on a Sunday.  I typically do not check work email on the weekend.  But today I did.  I had an email from our management saying that one of my coworkers past away at his home on Friday. 
Bruce Jones had been one of the first hired by the company, and was near retirement.  Everyone who knew Bruce liked him.  He was just that kind of guy.  He would start every conversation he had with me by telling me how great a developer I was and how I was his favorite, which was all flattery for sure!  But that was his way of letting me know he had respect for me, and admired me.  I was always willing to help Bruce with anything he needed.  We all want to be around people that make us feel good.

The last time I spoke to Bruce was late Wednesday afternoon.  He had worked till 1:00am that morning on several frustrating issues at a new client, and I could hear the exhaustion in his voice.  But there he was, physically and mentally exhausted, and still on the job!  He was trying to resolve another issue and had called me for help. 
We talked for over an hour, and he was too tired to understand the issue and solution and that just frustrated him even more.  His one goal was to give the client what they wanted and he was fueled by that energy alone.  But even during that call, he found time to build up another guy that works for us and called him “THE MAN”, and was truly speaking of his respect for the guy.  Bruce loved his work, but maybe too much.

Today, none of that matters.  Today sales prices, discount codes and discount groups mean nothing to Bruce.   Installing software packages with success no longer equals success.  Today what matters most is only what Bruce did with Jesus.  It breaks my heart not knowing who Jesus was to Bruce. 
James talks about how we pursue our own plans without regard to Gods.  He says in James 4:13-15 that we say “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”, making our own plans to fulfill our own lives.  But then he warns that “you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”  James says we should always be mindful of God’s will in our lives, saying “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 

We take life for granted.  We plan out our days, weeks, months, and years.  We set reminders on our calendars for things to come.  We look toward our own retirement, hoping to not be like Bruce and work up to the day of our death.  We save, we plan, and we push to fulfill our goals.  What James is saying is not that it is wrong to have plans - but that it is wrong to be so arrogant as to leave God out of them. 
God is the giver of time, every second of each day.  Yet of all to whom we give the excuse “I don’t have time”, God is the one we give it to most often.  “I don’t have time to go to church.”  “I don’t have time to read my Bible.”  “I don’t have time to pray.”  “I don’t have time for God.”    How can we tell the giver of time that we do not have time for Him?  How ungrateful we are, and how arrogant that we would assume He would continue to bless us with hours, days, and years filled with our ignoring Him.

Friends, it is as James said.  Life is just a vapor, and one day yours will vanish away unexpectedly, just as Bruce’s did this past Friday.  But eternity is forever, and there is a life after death.  Yours is determined by what you do with Jesus in this life.  Is He your Lord and Savior, or is He just someone in the Bible?  Take time to get to know Him while you still can. Make plans for your eternity – not just your life – and include God in both sets of plans. 

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