13Look 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.” 14How 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. 15What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.

James 4:13-16

Years ago, my mother-in-law prefaced or concluded all her plans with the words, “If the Lord is willing.” As happens at times, it became a bit of an eye-rolling moment. It seemed unnecessary to plan something while always including the caveat that it might not happen.

I have changed my mind about that. I believe my mother-in-law may have been on to something.

If there is one thing this year has taught me, it is to hold plans lightly. Today I texted my children to share some winter plans with them. (I’m often accused of not telling them things. Oops!) I included the phrase, “If the Lord is willing.” To be honest, it was partly in humor; but mostly, it was where I want my mind to rest. I want to confidently look to each new day, season, year without fear, planning to live life to the fullest. I also recognize situations change quickly and I want to move with the bumps, not against them.

A few weeks ago, Dave and I visited Sedona, Arizona with my sister and her husband. One morning we rented a 4 x 4 ATV to visit some sights difficult to access on foot or in a regular vehicle. On one particularly rough stretch of road, my sister and I noted that in order to avoid injury, it was best to stay as loose as possible and roll with the bumps rather than bracing against them.

That is how I want to live. Rolling with what comes, but planning to live life to the fullest in every season. So, I continue to say, “if the Lord wants me to….”

How do you want to live these days? Are you struggling to look forward to the seasons? A new year? How will you remind yourself that your life is in His hands?

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