“I can hardly wait to retire. Man, I am going to __________.” All of us have heard this conversation and some of us may have even spoken those very words. That blank can be filled in with everything from travel and fishing, to doubling my income with another job. Some of those words come from people who still have 15 or 20 years left in their career! Would you believe the average man or woman will spend 50,000 hours at their job during a lifetime? That’s just average…you are no doubt above average! How much better it would be for us to find satisfaction in our daily lives rather than living for the future. This is true rather one is living for retirement or a promotion. Sometimes the best laid plans (of men and women) can go astray. Take for a good example the following story:
The Associated Press ran this story of Andre-Francois Raffray. Thirty years ago, at the age of 47, he worked out a real estate deal with Jeanne Calment, age 90. He would pay her $500 each month until her death, in order to secure ownership of her apartment in Arles, France. This is a common practice in France, benefitting both buyers and seniors on a fixed income. Unfortunately for Raffray, Jeanne Calment became the world’s oldest living person. She was still alive at 120 when Raffray died at the age of 77. He paid $184,000 for an apartment he never lived in. According to the contract, Raffray’s survivors must continue payment until Mrs. Calment dies.
Talk about missing the mark when it came to the future!! Mr. Raffray presumed he knew what the future held, but the future is one thing we can seldom accurately predict! Consider this Scripture passage from James that warns us of presuming to know what the future holds: “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…Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”
Now I’m not saying God is opposed to planning. Planning is good except when we get too carried away with it by trying to live in the future. We can get so caught up with our plans and schemes for the future that we forget about the day at hand. We’ve all seen people that had their hearts so set on a promotion that when they weren’t chosen, their world was turned upside down and they became unbearable to be around for quite a while. Or perhaps you know folks who lived their lives for retirement only to find soon after retirement that sickness or worse put an end to their plans. One little saying that has always helped me in this area goes like this: Live this moment as if the Lord is coming back today and plan for the future as if He is not coming back in your lifetime. All of us are just a heartbeat away from the Judgment Seat of Christ…something we don’t think about very often. May all of us enjoy the gift of life God has given us today and commit our future plans into His hands.
By the way, if any of you are interested in my house, we can work out a deal where you start paying me $1500 a month now and…. :>) (Just kidding…)