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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
An administrator sent out an email the other day asking the participants of a meeting if they expect to be there. One person replied, “I am planning to attend, God willing.” My first thought was that they were uncertain about their attendance because they might be dealing with a medical issue. I later realized that this person was living out of the spirit of what James is calling us to in today’s reading: Ignatian indifference, that is, not clinging to one’s plans or expectations. All we have is today and we must live out today to our fullest, trusting in God about all the things that follow. As James says, we are a passing mist that appears and vanishes. Ignatius’ understanding of this kind of detachment is about having a complete dependence on God, and not being presumptuous about having things figured out.
Do I live with God in there here-and-now or do I find myself always living in the uncertainty of the future?
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as he did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that he will make all things right
if I surrender to his will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with him
forever in the next.