What If “Next Year” Isn’t What You Expect?
Please allow me a little bit of melancholy this morning and a break from Hebrews (sort of). I’m at Flagler Beach this week with some of my family members. This is a place I have been for the past five years and each of the previous four years my father has made the trip with me. My dad had a stroke in mid-April and hasn’t fully recovered. As I write this, he still has great difficulty walking and his memory, mental processing and speech are not back to “normal”. I leave the beach today and as I was carrying my bike up the beach access after my morning ride I began to think about “next year” and how much I enjoy being here. Then my thoughts turned to my dad and how “last year” all of us were talking or thinking about “next year” and “next year” didn’t turn out like we planned. For some of you reading this post, next year at this time won’t look like you think it will look like from today’s viewpoint. Today’s viewpoint is pretty limited as to what “next year” will really look like. This post is not one of those “live today like you think it’s your last day” posts. I don’t think that phrase makes any sense. If I really thought that today was my last day I wouldn’t be spending time posting this! I’d be watching Dallas Cowboy Superbowl win reruns (just kidding…I’m shallow but not that shallow).
What I’m asking you to consider is the brevity and the changing nature of life. James writes in chapter 4 verse 14 that “14 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.” Time and quality of life are gifts given to us by God. Yes, we can behave in ways that adversely affect both of those and no one is guaranteed time or quality by living a certain way. Rather, they are gifts from God that we are to use for His glory. I encourage you to seek His direction for your life. We’ve been learning in Hebrews that Jesus Christ is so much better than anything else in the Jewish religious tradition. Jesus is so much better than anything this world has to offer as well. The way to have God’s best for “next year” is to live each day “this year” in submission and love to Him.