The Good I Ought To Do

Friday, September 13, 2013

On Monday morning I opened the back door of the office and discovered a snake.


He's tiny, but he was moving fast and mad - hissing and striking in his baby way.


Plus he's a snake. ((shudder))

On Tuesday morning I missed a call from school that my oldest was sick. I neglected my phone for all of 45 minutes, and suddenly it's alive with voicemails and texts, "Where are you??" 

Sigh.

Spilled milk in the car that crept under the seat and spoiled, a new AC unit being installed upstairs, a bill that I thought was on auto pay . . . these events made my week feel exhausting. 

But they are all just things. Things of this world that happen and are minor. 

Our home is fine. Our child is going to be okay. We live in a safe and prosperous community. I'm spoiled, really. 

When I think of my circumstances in terms of the larger world, it's hard to understand why. Why do I get all this and they don't? Why?

I don't have the answers. I just feel a gentle nudging when my life gets "tough" to turn to scripture. And this week, I still had a bookmark in James, which I read earlier this summer. I can't get past this, and I think it is what I'm supposed to share with you here:
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." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17
Read it again. I imagine it being said in an angry tone. "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What IS your life? (hmpf!) 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 . . . " It's a real scolding.

Those words remind me that I am assuming an awful lot about what my circumstances will be tomorrow. And that perhaps my circumstances today are primarily a reminder of the good I ought to do.
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How do you reconcile it all?

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2 Responses to “The Good I Ought To Do”

  1. thank you for speaking to the heart, friend. wise words. e.

    ReplyDelete