The story is told of Morris, a Russian man, who saved his rubles for
twenty years to buy a new car. After choosing the model and options he
wants, he's not the least bit surprised or even concerned to learn that
it will take two years for the new car to be delivered. He thanks the
salesman and starts to leave, but as he reaches the door he pauses and
turns back to the salesman. "Do you know which week two years from now
the new car will arrive?"
The salesman checks his notes and tells the man that it will be two
years to the exact week. The man thanks the salesman and starts out
again, but upon reaching the door, he turns back again.
"Could you possibly tell me what day of the week two years from now the
car will arrive?"
The salesman, mildly annoyed, checks his notes again and says that it
will be exactly two years from this week, on Thursday.
Morris thanks the salesman and once again starts to leave. Halfway
though the door, he hesitates, turns back, and walks up to the salesman.
"I'm sorry to be so much trouble, but do you know if that will be two
years from now on Thursday in the morning, or in the afternoon?"
Visibly irritated, the salesman flips through his papers yet another
time and says sharply that it will be in the afternoon, two years from
now on Thursday.
"That's a relief !" says Morris. "The plumber is coming that morning!"
We often have to make plans far in advance so as to avoid any conflicts.
Before making any commitments - you know the routine - we have to pull
out the date book (or the iPhone). "The kids have got a soccer game
that night at 7:00, but the next night is free." Planning ahead isn't
wrong; in fact, it's a scriptural principle. What makes it wrong,
though, is planning ahead without any thought of God.
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such
a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; 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.
Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this
or that.' " (James 4:13-15)
Go ahead! Make your plans! Fill in that date book! Just make sure
that God hasn't been left out.