Have you ever heard the saying, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise?” It sounds like a line out of a country song . . . a line we throw out casually when someone asks if we’ll see them next week or for dinner tonight. In our ‘take things for granted’ and ‘instant gratification’ society, we live with a casual acceptance that the things in our lives are under our total control.
What about the Latin phrase, “Deo Volente,” have you ever heard that one? It means “God willing.” James 4:13-15 gives us a deeper look into this concept . . .
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.”
James’ words here remind us how frail our humanity is . . . how fast it can all be taken away. It’s also a reminder that we need to put His plans before ours. If we chose to live with this perspective, what would it change? Our relationships? Our marriages? How we parent? Our finances? Our calendar? Our priorities? I guess the better question would be what wouldn’t it change if we lived with this perspective?
A few weeks ago, I sat through the funeral of someone who was only 40 when she died. She was a wife, a mother of two boys, a sister, a daughter, an aunt and a friend to many. Seemingly a picture of good health, she died on the evening of a normal summer day, without showing any symptoms or cause for concern. Her passing served as a stark reminder to me that my life is not my own . . . that I am here to steward the life God has granted me for a period of time only known to Him . . . and that He has “equipped me with everything good for doing His will” and that He will “work in us what is pleasing to Him,” (Hebrews 13:21).
As a community of men committed to speaking into the next generation, we must lead and live in a way that takes nothing for granted. You are not keeping your life experience to yourself . . . rather you are intentionally sharing it with others who will follow your lead and do the same. Your influence is shaping the lives of the men you mentor . . . their marriages, their parenting, their relationships, their priorities. Show them how to live . . . hour by hour, day by day, in light of eternity. Every day matters when you’re the only Jesus many will ever see.