James 4:13-16 (NLT)
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.
In these verses James is cautioning about the presumptive confidence of our life and against forming our own plans that might not agree with God’s desires. James reminds us our life is short in comparison to the life waiting for us in eternity. We should reflect on our present life and look for what God would have us do as opposed to the plans we might make for ourselves.
The actor James Dean said, “Dream as if you will live forever, and live as if you will die tomorrow.” We all need dreams and hope to live for; but we need to evaluate them in the light our next day could be our last. In a commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford College, Apple computer founder Steve Jobs said, “Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward (at his life), You can only connect them looking backward, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” We can look back in life and see our achievements and our failures. We can see how they connect in some manner to each other. We may even be able to realize how a mistake took us in a completely different direction. But we cannot see into the future and if we want the dots of our life to connect in a meaningful manner then we must trust God and his plan for our life. Steve Jobs spoke at the commencement about a year after being diagnosed with a rare curable form of cancer. Doctors first gave him six months to live. Steve has continued to recover and he learned a lesson from life, which he shared with the graduates. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” God has given us a life to use wisely. Don’t waste the time He has given you.