“So… what are you doing next week?”
“Hmmm, I don’t know. It really depends on whether I have jury duty or not.”
To set the context, a few months ago, I had sensed a change in season and believed that God was leading me to a season to rest. In obedience, I had made plans to take some time off work. However, those plans were suddenly in disarray when I received an uninvited notification that I was selected to be part of compulsory jury duty for an 8 week court case. To top things off, my jury duty was scheduled on exactly my last day of work!
I know God has a sense of humour, but as I started having the above re-occuring dialogue with multiple friends about my uncertain plans, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the passage in James 4:13-15.
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.” 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. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
I think most of us might agree that 2020 might not turned out the way we might have expected. However for me, being called for jury duty pushed it to a whole other level for me. I realised God was really trying to teach me a key lesson and graciously arresting my attention. I still haven’t arrived there yet, but I’m slowly learning that it is futile to be stubbornly fixated on my plans and refusing to be open to the direction and journey that my loving and gracious Heavenly Father wants to take me on.
As I spent time meditating on those verses, it highlighted this illusion. I don’t know about you, but I think majority of the time, we think our lives are in our own hands. It’s easy to forget sometimes that I am NOT in control of my life, but God is. Perhaps through these last 6 months during COVID-19, you might have experienced how quickly things can change, and how we are ultimately not in fully control of our own schedule.
Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that it is wrong to plan. I believe we need to be wise stewards with the resources and talents that He’s given us, including time. However, I wonder how different my day would be if I was less fixated on completing the plans I had set out for each day, and instead been more open on seeking God’s presence and will throughout the day.
I love this quote by C.S Lewis –
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”
Thank you for your loving care over us… and that you have us in your arms. Sorry for the times we run our lives without acknowledging your Sovereignty, and we think that our ultimate destiny is controlled by us. Help us realise that we depend on you for everything… and to have the attitude of humility in our daily lives. Help us be aware of your presence in everything we do and may we discern with clarity the path you want us to take in our lives.
Today, as we start our day, may you give us ears to hear and eyes to see and help us be sensitive to where you want to lead us. And give us courage to be obedient to your promptings.