Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in America, I cannot help but think of the events of the past ten days and remember how thankful I am for today – because I do not know what tomorrow brings.
Ten days ago, tragedy struck our extended family.
One of my wife’s cousins, Michael, was killed in a motorbike accident at the young age of 25.
As tragic as this was and as painful as it must have been, and must still be for his mother, brothers, sister and girlfriend (not to mention the rest of the family) this event brought home to me something a little different than I expected.
I Don’t Know The Future
I wrote some time ago about how we should use the phrase ‘God willing’ a little more than most of us do and ever since then, I have been trying to incorporate it into my speech.
I haven’t been trying this because I feel like we ‘should’ but because I truly believe that we should give God his due and recognize that we don’t know the future.
Michael’s untimely death really brought this home to me because of the way it messed up my plans.
On Wednesday afternoon, I KNEW that the following morning I was getting up early, dropping my kids at school and heading down to L.A. to go to the Auto Show.
I knew it. I had it planned, it was certain.
I had organized for one of my sister-in-law’s to watch the baby for the day and for one of my wife’s aunts to pick up the kids from school and watch them until I got back.
It was all arranged.
Then the horrible news of Michael’d death came through.
All of a sudden, my plans were thrown into turmoil.
Things I had known a minute before hand were all of a sudden much less certain.
The aunt who had been intending to pick up my kids from school suddenly might not be able to because she may have to go out of town to be with the grieving family.
My plans were crumbling.
Maybe they’d stay in town, maybe they wouldn’t.
What would happen if they didn’t? Who could watch the kids?
In that moment, in the turmoil of uncertainty, I suddenly realized how dependent I had become on my own belief that I knew the future.
One moment I was sure I knew what was happening the next morning and the next moment that certainty was gone like a speck of dust in the wind.
Thankful for Today
So today, this day of Thanksgiving, it is very, very clear to me that I can be thankful for four things:
- I’m thankful for the past. Thankful that God graciously allowed me to meet Michael and have some great times with him. Thankful for that and all God has done for me.
- I’m thankful for today. I’m here, my family is around me and God is here with us. THANK YOU, Father!
- I’m thankful that God has once again so forcefully reminded me that I don’t know the future. I’m thankful that once again I can remember that we make plans but God directs our steps. At the most we can plan to do something if God is willing and I need to remember that the future I have created in my mind might not be the future as it’s really going to happen.
- Lastly, I’m thankful that although I don’t know the future, I am being held strong and secure by the God who does – and he may not make it play out exactly as I plan but he DOES make it play out exactly as it should. I’m so thankful that I can trust him with my future and that of my family, whatever that may be.