“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.“ (James 4:13-14, NLT)
This reminds me of a story I read several years back. It’s the story of Andre-Francois Raffray who was a lot like the merchants in James’ illustration. Andre lived in Arles, France where real estate is quite scarce and apartments have waiting lists. So at the age of 47 he worked out a clever deal with a lady named Jeanne Calment. Jeanne was 90 years old at the time. Here was their deal: He would pay her $500 each month until her death, and upon her death he would have the rights to purchase her apartment.
It looked like a great deal, but there was a snag. Mrs. Calment lived to become the oldest person in history! She lived to the ripe old age of 122 years and 164 days. She even outlived Raffray himself, who died at the age of 77. For thirty years he paid her a total of $184,000 for an apartment in which he never lived. To add insult to injury, according to the contract, Raffray’s survivors had to continue payments until Mrs. Calment finally died.
James isn’t against planning for tomorrow. He IS against planning without divine consultation. He’s against Christians doing whatever they want with no regard to what God wants. As he mentioned last week, he’s against acting first and praying later.
I was reminded at the sudden death of a friend this week just how short life is. We want to make the most of the days we have – and God wants that, too. So let’s make sure our plans line up with His plans.
Join us Sunday and we’ll talk about the two issues that can make us or break us: time and money. See you in church!