“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
Kim died on a Monday morning. The very next morning, Tuesday morning, we had plans that never came about. I had purchased two tickets to a Michael Bublé concert in Washington DC. I had a hotel booked, and I had planned for our dinner, as well. Nandos Peri Peri. Our favorite South African Portuguese chicken. Try it. It’s a family favorite.
But I digress.
We were both looking forward to our date. I have text messages from that fateful Monday morning between us to prove it. We had been planning the date together, and we now were considering some last minute changes due to impending snow.
If the plans for the day after Kim’s death had been so drastically changed, I had no idea what awaited me. My future has been fatefully altered.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1
I was now mourning an altered future. So much for counting eggs before they’re hatched.
Mourning and grief have many dimensions. As time moved forward, I learned one significant aspect to my grief was my unavoidable, altered future. Everything had changed, it seemed. Granted, this is a selfish dimension to grief, but it’s a significant reality that must be faced. Everything in my future is altered.
A date night for a concert in Washington D.C. was only the tip of the iceberg.
Every plan in my future included Kim. Therefore, every plan in my new future had been abruptly altered. Disrupted. Distorted.
“Loss takes what we might do and turns it into what we can never do.” Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss
This would take some getting used to. Lesson learned: Don’t boast about tomorrow.
We’re warned about boasting about our tomorrows. We tell each other to be careful about counting eggs before they’ve hatched. We do not know what tomorrow brings. It’s time to repent from boasting about our tomorrows. Eternity is important. Our lives are but a mist—a blip on the screen. Or as Gerhardt Ter Steegen has said, “How great is God! how small am I! A mote in the illimitable sky…”
But right now, that blip seems to have a foreboding future. Altered and undefined.
It’s understandable to mourn an altered future. Loss forces you to do so. However, boasting about your tomorrows is arrogant. Boasting about tomorrows is even evil, according to James. My life took a detour on February 18, 2019, and I’ve learned my lesson. While mourning my altered future, I refuse to boast about tomorrow. Life is good, but it’s only a mist. A blip on a screen. A mote—or a speck—in the illimitable sky.
While I have an altered future that I mourn, I trust the one who holds my new normal, my new future in his hands.
“Come 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’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:13-16