Tuesday, August 7, 2012


that might not actually be the word for it, but that's the word that comes to mind.

i've got this heightened awareness for hearing people speak about their lives in presumptive ways.

i mean, i get it.

unless you've lived through the experience of having your life turned upside down, it's probably hard to imagine it ever happening. it's hard to imagine the plans you have for your life not coming to fruition. especially when so many other things in life have seemed to go "according to schedule."

i'm somewhat of a believer in self-fulfilling prophesy. in setting one's mind to something and expecting it to happen. in identifying the desires of your heart and expressing them to God (and the universe He controls), and falling in line with what will come.

i also know that life can't be lived without a certain measure of planning and expectations. without them, things would come to a standstill.

but i know that control, for the most part, is an illusion. few things are givens or constants.

so i'm a bit turned off whenever i hear someone talk about the future with complete certainty. about what will happen when they marry their spouse who has yet to be identified. about what will happen when they finish their degree. about what will happen five years down the road. about when they'll have their first, second, and third child. all are wonderful and important things to hope for. but none of those things come with guarantees.

and i guess if i'm honest, that confidence seems like arrogance. and that arrogance gets under my skin.

when i hear people talk in presumptive ways, i want to put my hands on their shoulders, and shake them. or i want to interrupt them and ask, "how can you be so sure?" and both of these responses are completely inappropriate, so i refrain from saying anything. instead, i smile faintly.

perhaps part of me isn't mad at their assumptions as much as i'm mad God will allow them to live with their assumptions (a luxury i didn't receive).

and all of this may very easily boil down to my personal fears. perhaps living with more assuredness would have changed the outcome of my circumstances. but that seems somewhat hard to believe. the fact is, i'm more confident than ever that i'm not promised anything. that life can change in an instant. and i now strive to live in a way in which i'm open to what may come.

either way, when i witness it, i pray for the people who are captured by it. i pray their illusion doesn't come crashing down. i pray they continue to experience the kind of lives where things are planned and things go according to schedule. the kind of life i thought i used to have.

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. - james 4:13-15