What I'm Reading Today: James 4
The past five weeks have been a very intense time for me. In that period of time, I have lived through the loss my best friend Eric and ministered with families through the losses of John, Daria, Leo, Ginny Lou, and Kyle. Death has been more present in my life these days than at any other period.
Some of my loved ones have asked how this wave of losses has affected me.
There isn't one simple answer I could give to that question. The best way for me to answer that question has been to say, "It has better taught me how to live in the moment."
As someone who was a classic overachiever in life, I spent most of my early years living with my attention always focused on the future. I was obsessed with planning for the future. That advice has served me well – up to a point. The advice has its limits, however.
Those limits were pointed out in today's passage from James, where the author stated: "And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, 'Today- at the latest, tomorrow—we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money.' You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing." Strong words, indeed.
As you negotiate your day today, I would invite you to find moments to slow down and ask yourself, "What tense am I living in at this moment – the past, the present, or the future?"
If you find yourself answering either past or future, stop and ground yourself in the present. As difficult and challenging as life can be at any given moment, remind yourself there's a reason they call this moment "the present". It truly can be a gift – if you are open to that possibility.
Til next time …