Imagine, a cool crisp day, the sun is shining brightly. You are on the northern coast of France, preparing to board a brand new ocean liner that will take you to New York in the United States of America. At the dock, you are surrounded by fellow passengers, from the very, very rich, to the poor. All are welcome on this luxury liner for a price. The price you pay will determine the amenities you are afforded, but even second and third class passengers have not seen luxury like this on a ship before. Around you, you hear men, women and children, all talking excitedly about their new life in America, about reunions with family, about their international business interests, and the adventures they are on. By the time the ship arrives from its starting point in England and all the passengers are boarded, it will be evening. The next day there will be one more stop on the southern tip of Ireland, and then you will be set for a week at sea. The date is April 10, 1912.
Most of you have already figured out that that brand new luxury liner was the Titanic, and it never reached its intended destination. Late Sunday night, April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg; it sank in the wee hours of Monday, April 15, 1912. Fewer than half of those on board survived. Many will say that the ship was not adequately prepared with lifeboats, or by training, for the rescue efforts that were required. There are some differing perspectives on the events of that night, but on one thing I think we can all agree: None of those passengers planned for their lives to end that day.
The truth is that we never know what may happen to us that we haven’t planned for. We don’t know when our lives may be taken from us, or when something may happen to derail us from our course. James warned his listeners against proudly boasting about what they would do, where they would go and what they would earn. (James 4:13-15) They were businessmen planning their road to riches, but James reminded them that they were not the ones in control of their tomorrow. Although, from our own perspective, the world may revolve around us, in the scope of eternity, our life here on earth is just a puff of smoke. We are such a short chapter in the story. James was not suggesting that we should not plan any part of our lives, but that as we are planning we need to acknowledge that God is sovereign. We are not in control of our own destiny, but God is in control of all. Commit your plans to God. Ask Him for guidance and direction. And focus on doing the things that will make a difference for all eternity.
Updates on two families whose plans have also been dramatically changed.
Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time will remember that just over a year ago, Al and Rita Chretien went missing while driving from their home in British Columbia to a trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rita was found after being stranded in their van for seven weeks. Al, on the third day of being lost, had set out on foot to look for help. He has never been found. The family will hold a memorial service for him tomorrow. I’m sure the family would still appreciate your prayers.
Baby Bella and her family have had a very unplanned two weeks. During that time they have spent two days in their own home. Otherwise they have been at the hospital, or at the Ronald McDonald House next door to it. Bella is currently fighting a fever, which is dangerous for chemo patients, and she hasn’t had a very good day. She has had many tests and treatments, involving either needles or surgery on her little eight-month-old body. It has been a very exhausting time both emotionally and physically for her family as well. Please continue to keep this family in your prayers. They (and I) appreciate the support so much.