James 4:13-17; Luke 12:13-21
You never know what a day will bring. You can’t be sure what might show up at the doorstep of your life. Some developments are more trivial inconveniences than life changing events. Computer glitches and fender benders are not going to alter your life much but natural catastrophes such as a tsunami or California mudslide will. Life will go on if you throw out your back but an emergency appendectomy is another story. And good fortune can come along too. You get an unanticipated promotion or some lawyer calls and informs you that when your rich uncle died, he left you a nice inheritance. You never know what a day will bring.
Just ask our friend in Luke 12. We don’t know a great deal about him. We don’t know whether he was young, in mid-life, or nearing retirement. We are uninformed if he had a family. We don’t know how he got his start in business. We don’t know if he was spiritually oriented, a member of a local synagogue. But his farm has produced a bumper crop. He asks himself: “What can I do? My barn isn't big enough for the harvest.” Then he answers himself. “This is what I'll do. I'll tear down what I have and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather my grain up and say, ‘You’ve done OK. You've got it made. Take life easy. Have a little fun!’” It was about this time that God showed up and said, “You silly fool! But don’t worry about your crops or barn being over-filled. It’s really not very important because tonight, you’re out of here!"
Let’s give the fellow some credit. From a business standpoint, he was astute, perhaps shrewd. If you had opportunity to trade places, you may not have done things any differently. But what displeased God was his attitude. He’s had a bumper crop and he is looking for more. It seems as if he’s gotten a little ahead of himself and left God a little too far behind. God says “enough.” You never know what a day will bring.
But how do we make plans? How do you and I prepare for our tomorrows? Do we really differ? My guess is probably not. So if we want to avoid hearing anything that sounds similar to what the fool heard, it would be good to listen up to James, the brother of Jesus, before taking even one more step into the future. (Read James 4:13-17.)
James shows us several faulty assumptions we can make about our tomorrows in James 4:13.