Much of my early years were spent in the hills of southern Illinois around “salt of the earth” mid-westerners. As a consequence, colloquialisms are a part of my vocabulary and heritage. Over my life, I have tried the famous “more than one way to skin a cat” and always hope for a task where I can “kill two birds with one stone.” I have also had someone sincerely respond to my expressed hope that I would see them the next day, or maybe the upcoming Sunday, with the oft-quoted quip, “The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” I once thought that this was just another odd saying, but it seems that it can also be a faith statement.
James expressed that sentiment in sharing advice with his Christian friends:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin. James 4:13-17
I am a person who likes to make plans. Each morning I make a list of what I hope to accomplish. (I have some ideas already about what I plan to do over Spring Break, this summer, and even an event or two in the fall.) But all this is really subject to change, and to God’s will. There have been times when I have planned to do something on a particular day, and then my plans get interrupted. I haven’t always greeted the change in my schedule with glee, and yet when the day is over, it’s amazing how that interruption was often an opportunity for something even more significant to occur.
I guess I should be a little more open to these “God moments” that are possible each day. “If the Lord wishes (and the creek don’t rise), I will get today to live, and hopefully I will be blessed and be a blessing to someone else. Any maybe, even if the creek rises, there will be a chance to serve God.
Dear God, help me to turn to You each day, and then follow where You lead. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.