I've been enjoying reading the book of James for the last few days. It's had some answers for a few of my anxiety problems.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
I've been thinking about how to accept my little autistic son as he struggles through life without the ability to read social nuances that most people have. At the same time I've been concerned that I'm not getting to do my 'projects', which seem all important in my mind. This passage puts both those problems together and turns worldly wisdom on its head.
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
'Poor in the eyes of the world' can take many forms. In the end, it's not about how well my son can work a room, but how much faith he has in God.
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." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
This is so me. I have all these big plans that seem so important. But the older I get, the more I realise I just don't know what's going to happen next. Putting myself in the same category as 'mist' is a little deflating if I see myself as all important. But if I see my life as God-given, God-supported and God-directed, that's a whole lot better. The last verse stands out too. I do know the good I ought to do right now and that's to be the very best parent with God's grace I can be right now. So that will keep me going today.