December 08, 2004

As God Wills, As Way Opens, If Nothing Happens

(By Larry)
Re: James 5:1-5
Many years ago I served a small struggling Methodist church in an industrial suburb of New Orleans. It was peopled primarily by 'rednecks' from the surrounding states, many of them also oil field 'roughnecks'. One family were most faithful: the father would always say "we'll be here next week, if nothing happens".

Years later I learned the family had been prominent Quakers in the East; Quakers generally say 'as way opens' (a queer 'Quakerism', no doubt). Like a great many Quakers who had become Methodists (usually for marrying 'out of unity' - another queer quakerism), his speech had become secularized.

Now, evangelical Christians (including many Quakers) understand that it's exceedingly presumptuous to say something like "I'm going to fly to New York next week." (I may be dead next week). Much better to say "if God wills".

James, and Jesus before him made this abundantly clear. Jesus was pretty harsh:
"Thou fool", he said to the rich man, "This day shall thy soul be required of thee" (or something like that-KJV).


At 5:03 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi Larry - thanks for your comments on mine. I think the things James is saying about the rich are starting to make me feel defensive ... I've been worried about money for what seems like forever and lately my sister and I have been thinking about starting a business selling tea and coffee gifts. I don't know if it will work out but I already feel guilty about being a "merchant" and making a profit. Maybe it is better spiritually to be poor but I'm getting pretty bitter and tired of it ... so I'm conflicted on the issue, as usual :-)

At 12:38 p.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

Don't feel guilty for what you've got -- be aware of it, be thankful for it and use it to help others if you can. That includes helping yourself and your family.


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