December 03, 2004

Marjorie on James 4:13-17

Foreward: I see that Crystal and RW have already posted on this and I have not read their posts yet so that my own will be unaffected by what they've written. This may be a mistake that I correct in the future. My response is based only on my personal reaction and is limited by that. I'm sure I'll learn more about the background of this passage from other posts.

Taken simply, this passage says to me that one should always realize God's supremacy. It is not by our planning that we accomplish anything but by God's grace. I've never been much of a long-term planner, so I love this idea. I know many people who have far reaching plans and visions as to what their future should hold. I don't (I've never known what I'd be when I grow up and still don't), I've oftened wondered if this was a shortcoming on my part (perhaps I'm an underachiever) but I realize that my way has its advantages as well. I am trying to live in the moment and enjoy it fully for we can never know what tomorrow or even the next moment will bring. Also, what happens when life deviates from our plan? It seems an invitation to disappointment. Painting myself positively as I am wont to do, I also think that by not planning I'm practicing a sort of humility, I cannot predict the future, I do not know where I am going but I am happy to go where the Lord leads me (Psalm 23 now running through my head). Of course, I'm sure that those who enjoy planning are equally as able to recognize and respect God's supremacy.

It seems to me that there is a disconnect with the last sentence -- anyone, then, who knows the right thing and fails to do it commits sin. Though I suppose it might make sense with regard to those who plan, that they should have flexibility in their plans to allow them to do the right thing, even when that deviates from their plan.

This passage reminds me of the announcement of my brother's ordination. It began "God willing" and continued with the time and place of the ordination. My husband (who is no great admirer of the Church) snickered at this, but its clearly in keeping with this passage.

2 Comments:

At 3:15 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

I admire your ability to trust yourself to God's will. There's a part of a prayer at a site I go to (Sacred Space) that says ...

There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace. (St Ignatius) I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.Hah - each time I read it, the best I can do is ask for the desire to have the desire to give control over to God :-).

 
At 4:16 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Marjorie, thanks for your email. I tried to write back but something's wrong with my mailer - whenever I click on the send button, it crashes the browser :-(. I do miss that Jesuit who helped me. We emailed for almost two years but then he stopped writing back - guess I either offended him somehow or he just got tired of writing. He works at a retreat center in England doing spiritual direction and sometimes I peep in at their website to see what the latest classes are :-)

 

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