DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING?
There’s a Hasidic story about a rabbi who crossed a village square every morning on his way to the temple to pray. One morning, a large Russian Cossack soldier, who happened to be in a vile mood, accosted him, saying, “Hey, rabbi, where are you going?”
The rabbi simply said, “I don’t know.”
This infuriated the soldier. “What do you mean, you don’t know? Every morning for twenty-five years you have crossed the village square and gone to the temple to pray. Don’t fool with me. Why are you telling me you don’t know?” He grabbed the old rabbi by the coat and dragged him off to jail.
Just as the Cossack was about to push him into the cell, the rabbi turned to him, and softly said, “You see, I didn’t know.”
James taught those of us who are Christians to live in such a way that “we don’t know where we are going”. He put it this way:
“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.” (James 4:13-14)
There’s nothing wrong with making plans, but we need to remember that there is much that may happen in the future that we don’t know about right now, and things may happen that we don’t have much control over. We have only to look back over our lives to see how things in the past often turned out very much different than we thought they would.
What James says is true — death could come at any moment. Or Christ could return. Or any of a hundred other things — good or bad — could happen to us shortly. So where am I going? I don’t know. But as long as God is with me, it doesn’t really matter.
Have a great day!
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina
People often say with pride, “I’m not interested in politics.” They might as well say, “I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future, or any future.”
— Martha Gellhorn, writer/journalist (1908-1998)
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
‘God does not share his love between all of his creatures; He gives *all* of his love to *each* of His creatures!’ (Hugh of St. Victor).
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