James 4:14-15 says:
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.“
What I mean by “what I soon intend to do…” is travel.
For decades I’ve thought about doing what I’m about to do. For decades I’ve thought about seeing America. Now seems like the time.
My last day of work is coming up. I plan to start driving to Yosemite the hour I’m done . I plan to see other parts of California, and then maybe Oregon, and maybe Washington, or, maybe I’ll head back to Arizona for a little bit. Frankly, I have no idea where I’ll end up.
On the one hand I’m excited beyond words. Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Crater Lake, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Ranier, Cour d’Aleine, Glacier, Yellowstone, Little Big Horn… the Great Lakes, New York and whatever else may come into my mind are all places I’d like to see, and have the time to see. Why wouldn’t I be excited?
But then I remember the above words from the Epistle of James. The truth is that something could destroy all my plans. Heck, I could die tomorrow. I know this at a deep level, and would feel like I’m being spiteful of God’s admonition if, in my mind, I presumed there will be no obstacles. And, frankly, I’m good with whatever.
Yes, God knows how much I want to see America before it’s gone. Yes, God knows how much I want to photograph the West. Yes, God knows all the things in my mind that are causing a burning anticipation similar to what I felt before visiting Europe the first time decades ago.
Yet, I also realize that I’m living in a bubble of reality compared to all the history of the world. Life, in spite of its ups and downs, has been comfortable and easy compared to what most of the population of the earth has experienced before me. Life has been far better compared to that of serfs and slaves from centuries past. Life has been far better for not having to worry about invading armies, bubonic plagues, famines, etc.
To take a car across American highways through some of the most stunning scenery on planet earth, and not worry about getting lost, and not worry about desperados robbing me, and not worry about running out of food or water, and not worry about a thousand other things travel of this nature used to inflict upon others is an aberration in the greater context of world history. I am grateful just to be alive in these times. I am.
Of course, everything I just said I don’t have to worry about could come right back in this age of increasing darkness, wherein evil people are trying to destroy the old order of the earth, and create a New World Order. All society could be thrown into chaos with the flip of a switch. Mad Max can become reality. So can 1984. The evil ones proved their power over us in 2020.
2020, I suppose, most taught me to let go. That is, you can have plans, but you never know how those plans will unfold because you don’t know how quickly your world can change. This is not to say I’m now indifferent to heinous acts of murderous fiends like Fauci and Gates simply because life has returned to some degree of normalcy. This is not to say there is not pain when I think of what the New World Order has in store for us over the next ten years. I believe fire is coming.
At the same time, I know the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, and this life is just a vapor that dissipates so quickly in the greater context of all time. We will be dead sooner than we realize, and it seems incumbent upon me to be grateful for all my days, regardless of what happens.
However, if God is so gracious, and I can see America, well, I remember what Morgan Freeman said towards the end of the Shawshank Redemption…
“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain…”