I registered for my first half marathon today– the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland. I had planned on participating in the run for a few months now. The event is not until January 2014—six months away. Part of me is nervous about planning something so far in advance— anything could happen. What if I get sick or break my leg before then?
I also keep thinking about James 4:13-16,
“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 plans, and all such boasting is evil” (NLT).
I like to plan. In most cases I plan a year ahead. I had started planning my 30th wedding anniversary almost two years in advance (my special anniversary will be next year). I think it’s good to make plans, but I realize that we are not guaranteed tomorrow so it seems a little presumptuous to even make plans, so why make them?
I think the Scripture verses refer to people who go through life without even acknowledging that God is the reason they are able to make their plans. God is the one who bestows blessings on people (“For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike”- Matthew 5:45).
When I planned my last family vacation, I was so nervous that something might happen— the weather will be bad and our flight will be cancelled, we will have an accident and not be able to go on the trip, etc.
We have plans for October and plans for January. All I can do is pray that God will make it possible for us to keep our plan, and I have to thank Him for making it all possible.
So it’s ok to plan– just know that God is still in charge.
Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
Temptation can come in many forms. The other night, my son and I went to a local thrift store because we heard they were having a “50% off” sale on fur and leather coats. I found a bag that I really wanted but it had no tag on it. I looked on the floor, hoping I would find the tag but none was found. I thought about taking a tag from one of the other bags—I looked at all the prices and found one that was $1.99. I told myself that any money the store gets would be profit since all of their merchandise was donated.
After seriously contemplating about it, I decided not to take the tag off the other bag, and then I tried to hide the bag I wanted so that no one else could get it. I was thinking that I can come back when they were having a “half-off” sale on bags—of course that didn’t solve the issue of the bag not having a tag. Once I walked away for a little bit, I decided that the best thing to do was to bring the bag to the counter and have them reprocess it so it can have a tag—my thinking was, after it was reprocessed and I see it again, then I was meant to buy it.
I went up to the counter and asked, “How much are your bags?” (I was hoping they had a set price for “ordinary” bags). He said that the price should be on the bag. I then explained that this one had no price tag. He examined it for a few seconds and said, “How about $4?” (I had noticed that most of the bags were $4). I was stunned—the policy of the store had always been that they would not sell merchandise without a tag. I replied, “That’s fine.”
What I learned from that experience is that I just need to do the right thing no matter what the situation. I should never do anything unethical, even for something as small as a used bag. Also, I learned that God will make positive things happen when you resist temptation.
Yes, I wanted the bag and even though I would have technically paid a price for it (by ripping off another bag’s tag), I should never resort to doing any “underhanded” tactics to get something (it’s a bag today but what will it be in the future?). James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” (NLT). Bottom line– “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b).