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 they ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.—James 4:13-17
If you are someone that scrolls the pages of Facebook over and over, you could be thinking that the world is ending. Celebrities seem to be dying at an alarming rate for many people. This week Carrie Fisher passed away, and then the next day her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away as well. It was an unexpected event and it is certainly sad to hear about someone passing away. Scripture allows for a period of morning and remembering. Death is always a sad experience, and in some cases very unexpected. We live in a fallen and sinful world where death reigns over us all.
James in this passage talks about our lives being like a mist. You see it for a little while and then it’s gone. We have a short time on this earth and James is calling out people who think they can make plans apart from what God wants for their lives. In our time here on earth, all that’s going to matter is what we have done for God and His Kingdom. Now that doesn’t mean everybody quits their jobs and works for the church. Instead, it is thinking about how God can use you where He has already placed you; at your work, family, neighborhood. What can you do in the short time on earth that will matter for all eternity?