The Best Laid Schemes

I tend to read anything and everything.  I like most genres and nearly all authors.  Maybe I should be more discriminating, but I have often found wonderful little nuggets of truth or insight in the strangest places.  I have been reading a World War II novel by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV entitled, “The Assassination Option.”  In it, one of the characters misquotes Robert Burns’ lines in “To a Mouse,” when he says, “the best-laid plans gang aft agley.”  The line actually reads:
 The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy!

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Lost in a Dream Come True

The old Yiddish proverb translates as “Man plans, God laughs.”  Equally old is the statement by the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, “Live not one’s life as though one had a thousand years, but live each day as the last.”  So, should we live life completely in the moment with no thought for the future?  After all, God does say, So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  (Matthew 6:34)

     

 

I have a friend who is a great guy who loves his family.  But he’s constantly working at his job.  He has a flexible starting time, but he almost always works late into the evening.  He rarely sees any of his family, except on weekends.  And on many of those, he wants to be able to relax or concentrate on his special hobby.  He is so concerned with the day-to-day need to earn enough money  to take care of his family financially, that he’s missing the whole point of having a family.  This is not unusual, even among today’s Christians.  Yet the Bible warns us of the rich fool who kept working and planning for his eventual financial goal of retiring and taking it easy.  The result?  God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” (Luke 12:20)

Many workers are now even working during the time the are allotted for vacation.  According to a study by the online career site, Glassdoor, the average U.S. employee used only half of his or her eligible time off in the past year.  Overall, 40 percent of those surveyed took less than a quarter of the vacation time they had coming to them. The research shows that just 25 percent of workers use all of their eligible time off.  Even those who do take some vacation days have trouble truly getting away from the office. More than 60 percent of the employees who took paid time off in the past 12 months admit doing at least some work while on vacation.

So why are today’s workers so concerned with today or only as far as the next paycheck instead of thinking about the future–whether it’s tomorrow or retirement or forever?  It’s work, work, work. Day after day after day.  Too many of us have turned our jobs and our money-making capability into who we are.  Our job and success at that job defines who we are.  We forget that no one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

It’s really simple.  Why kill ourselves (sometimes literally) trying to make a living in a way that diminishes our family relationships and our connection to God?  All we have to do is seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  (Matthew 6:33)  Decide to put Him first in your life.  Do what He intends for you to do.  Get lost in His love.  Plan for eternity with Him, but live each day as if it were your last.  Some day it will be.  And in His presence, you will be lost in that eternal dream come true.