This week our Chaplain’s Corner is written by David Ziegler our boy’s tennis chaplain! Thank you so much for your words this week and for pouring into our students!
I love watching NFL or NBA highlights shows like “Shaqtin’ a Fool” where they show a pro athlete doing something really silly, or awkward, or just plain dumb! The commentators laugh and say, “C’mon, Man!”, because everyone, even novices to the game, can see that you just don’t do that. Do you think James is kinda saying that in this passage?:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
This is my reading of it (from the New Ziegler Version):
“Hey! You’re makin’ all these plans and leaving God out of all of them. You remember God, don’t you? The One who holds the future in His hands? The One who knows the End from the Beginning? Shoot! You might be dead in a minute and you are going to presume upon God to make everything work out fine for you even when you don’t even want to check in with Him?… Ever?! A little bit arrogant isn’t it? Feeling good about yourself, are you? This is just plain wrong. C’mon, Man!”
Now I don’t think James is suggesting we shouldn’t plan – Jesus, Himself, often spoke about being prepared and counting the cost. As coaches and chaplains, we recognize that preparing and planning for our next contest is another way of being good stewards of our time and talents. Maybe, however, it’s good to periodically evaluate our standard operating procedure for inviting God into our planning process. I don’t necessarily think approaching the Throne of Grace when I’m preparing and planning means certain game outcomes will be different because of it, but I wonder how many times I’ve missed God’s amazing blessings because I wasn’t expecting them since I hadn’t even thought of Him throughout the process.