August 21, 2018
"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 4:14 (NLT)
Before we even departed, we heard a disturbing warning: "It's been a rough day in the air, folks. Prepare yourself for tremendous turbulence."
As the words tremendous turbulence seeped into my mind, I wondered if it was too late to make a run for the door. I tightened my seat belt, took a deep breath and said a prayer for safety.
All was well the first 30 minutes, but then the captain's warning became a reality. It was the worst turbulence I'd ever experienced. We rocked back and forth, up and down. Heads were bobbing, necks were jerking, and I could hear luggage sliding around in the overhead bins. When the attendant began distributing sickness bags, I wondered if I would soon need one.
To make matters worse, we couldn't land because of the high winds and heavy rain. After flying in circles around the airport for over an hour, the plane was running out of fuel. The pilot couldn't wait any longer for the storm to end, so air traffic control rerouted our plane to another state, and we were finally able to land.
It was a scary experience, and although I didn't really believe we would crash, I couldn't help but think ... what if?
What if the worst happened?
Was I ready to die? Had I lived life to the fullest? Did I have any regrets? Should I have done things differently? Should I have laughed more, loved stronger, hugged harder, and lived more abundantly? Should I have done more for others? Had I stepped out in faith to do all God had called me to... or let my list of excuses stand in the way? Had I allowed my problems and busyness to steal my peace and joy? Had I been taking life for granted?
Had I lived as if I truly loved and appreciated life?
As I stared out my little oval window at the rain pelting the side of the plane, I pondered the life I had been given and how I had been living it. In that moment, I promised God and myself that if I ever got off that plane, I would intentionally and purposefully love my life every single day and make every effort to live it to the fullest.
In the book of James, the author encourages believers to live this way and live out each day based on godly wisdom, not worldly wisdom. In James 4:14 he said, "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."
In this chapter, James was reprimanding the wealthy for making plans without acknowledging God's control over their lives and for their tendency to prioritize their pursuits over what was important from God's perspective. But also, James recognized they were so caught up in carrying out their plans and pursuits they'd forgotten how priceless the gift of life truly was. He encouraged believers to realize life was short, and time is precious.
We all need to stay grounded in our faith and live the abundant life God intended, and it's a shame we allow problems and disappointments to blind us from the beautiful parts of the life we have. Since we're never guaranteed tomorrow, we should always make the most of today.
This little time of reflection in the bumpy skies reminded me that whether it's the quest for material items, busyness or the difficulty of adversities that steal our love for living, the result may be a life of regrets - and no one wants that.
We don't have to search for a different life, a carefree life or a life with perfect circumstances in order to love our life and make the most of it. It's never too late to start anew and begin intentionally living each day with purpose and joy.
Lord, forgive me for letting things stand in the way of appreciating, loving and enjoying the life You've given me. Help me make the most of every moment beginning today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, "So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God." (NLT)
Colossians 4:5b, "Make the most of every opportunity." (NLT)
Have you ever felt like everyone else's life seemed packed with blessings while yours was buried in burdens? You’re not the only one. In her new book, Love Life Again, Tracie Miles helps identify the stumbling blocks to your joy and offers tools and insights to take back control of your happiness. The Online Bible Study begins September 4. Register today for free!
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What if you knew today was your last day on earth? What questions would you ask yourself?
What can I do differently to start making the most of every day? Share your ideas with us in the comments section!
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