Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.Proverbs 27:1 esv
I’m a planner. Just ask my staff and they will tell you.
Example: I do not preach using the Lectionary (a three year cycle of scriptures used in worship), but rather I work through books of the Bible, biblical themes like “exile” or “the shema,” or (especially in the summer) series using illustrations using things people may be familiar with (Dr. Seuss, Star Trek, zoos, etc.). In order to do this, there is lots of prayer, research, and planning way in advance. I am currently working off a specific plan that takes me through the end of the year, and a roughed out another that takes me to the end of next summer. The running joke with my Director of Music Ministry is whether she is caught up with me… Just yesterday afternoon she proudly declared to me that she was even with me to the end of October.
So why do I plan like this? Am I a control freak? Well, in a way I am, but now how you think. You see, a number of years ago God taught me that I should expect the unexpected. So I began to plan for disruption; God’s disruption. You never know when the call will come to sit with a grieving widow and wait for the funeral home to arrive or a Friday night storm will rip the back of the church sanctuary off! (True story; maybe I will tell you sometime)
Our scripture today does not forbid us to plan, but rather Invites us to appreciate who is in control. It tells us that we have no clue what is around the corner, but rather Who is around the corner. God has taught me to live this. You see, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I do know for a the fact that the Triune God of Grace will be there to meet me!
We hear Similar words from the Lord’s brother, James, who reminds us that we “do not know what tomorrow will bring” and therefore we should say that “if the Lord wills, we will live and do…” (see James 4:13-15) This is called submission!
In our culture, we are told constantly to take control of our lives because we have within us the power master our situations. Now don’t get me wrong; I want people to thrive and grow into the image God that they bear. I am calling out this mantra that we are the center of the universe that has led us to be one of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed, and arrogant cultures in history. We try to control our situation (and others’) through bullying, playing the victim, power and money and influence, and much much more. We are so full of hubris and arrogance because we have become master manipulators! All the while we are shutting out the One who gives us li=fe, breath, and everything.
There is an old expression; “Let go and let God.” I don’t know who said this, but it pretty much sums up what the writer of Proverbs was teaching us…and James…and the prophets…and Jesus!
My name is Pat, and I’m a control freak; God’s control. I invite you to the party!