13Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- 14yet you do not now what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
This passage always reminds me of the maid who counted her chickens before they were hatched. She had plans to sell the chicks (if my memory serves me) and buy a milk cow(?) to make profit from the cream, which would allow her to buy more things, etc. She had elaborate plans, worked out several steps in advance. . . and then she dropped the eggs.
Hmmm. That's a lot like life, is it not?
I used to have my life planned out pretty clearly. College at 17, marriage just after graduation at 21, kids immediately following. Six years later I would start home schooling, while my kids were perfectly spaced naturally about 2 years apart. Since I would have exactly 12 children, I would have my last child at about 44. Well, the college part did proceed as planned, but the marriage part obviously did not :). Now my whole life plan has to be shifted at least a few years! Ah, the amusingly exact plans we have. . .
What actually inspired these musings was a simple question on a questionnaire. I was updating my homeschool alumni profile, since I had decided that parts of it were attracting hyper-conservative guys. It worries me when I get an e-mail that says You probably never thought you would meet someone as conservative as you, but life is full of surprises. . . so the old profile definitely had to go.
But back to the matter at hand. I had already filled out my general personal information before, but since that time, they had added a few additional personal questions. One new questions was Do you (or will you) homeschool your children? A year ago I would have checked "yes" without hesitation. In fact, Father Dear and I have had many discussions over the years regarding my stalwartness in this area. Earlier this year I finally realized that he had been right, and I had been overly exclusive in my support of homeschooling. Isn't he nice not to have told me, "I told you so"?
I still want to home school, but I realize that may not be my calling in life, and I especially realize that it is ultimately up to my husband to direct the education of my children. Whether or not I home school is no longer a matter of conscience (public education is an entirely different matter. . . ). So here I was filling out a simple questionnaire and over-analyzing a question. I have a tendency to over-analyze things. So I checked "unsure." I want to homeschool my children, but I couldn't emphatically state that I will. The passage in James resounded through my mind too loudly :). And I've learned in the past few years just how laughable are my "plans" for the future.
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.