Nashville Drivers! What can I say? I have lived in high traffic areas many times in my life. I’ve navigated I-75 through Cincinnati, waited for hours in the gridlock of Highway 101 in Northern California and even gave many hours up trying to get home via the Captial beltway. Nothing prepared me for the zany and insane stunts that drivers in middle TN try to pull off. I once saw someone cut me off and then the next two lanes and the median strip in an attempt to catch a freeway exit he passed a quarter mile back.
Just Sunday morning, Janine and I turned a blind curb and found a city truck parked in the roadway. It was stopped without any hazards or cones set up and caused us to break hard. It sent our Bibles, lesson plans and the box of doughnuts we bought for the youth Sunday School class into the back seat floor board. You never know what is coming up around the bend. One drives in this city with a heightened sense of alertness.
James wants us to drive with such an alertness… in life. You cannot simply put life into cruise control and expect to make it home. “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.” (4:14-15)
What is the answer to this? James says: “Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
I am feeling this principle even more these days as I seek full time ministry again. I feel like Madeleine L’Engle, who wrote: “Someone has altered the script. My lines have been changed… I thought I was writing this play.” (Quoted by John Ortberg in When the Game is Over it all Goes Back Into the Box, p. 59.) I know my role, just can’t seem to get myself into the Broadway play God has for me. I pray everyday and hope. But whether I am working J.C. Penny’s or the youth group at Valley View Baptist or searching for a new church, I am trusting the road ahead to the will of God.