Most everyone can sing along with the iconic song from the musical Annie, “Tomorrow.” It is a catchy tune with the appealing theme of optimism. What is so great about the nature of the song is that it does not dictate what tomorrow will hold, only looking forward to tomorrow and trusting in the opportunity that it brings. That is really something I need to learn; to look forward to tomorrow without holding tight to my plans of what I want in tomorrow.
Saint James would appreciate this song and applaud it for not being presumptuous. When looking to the future, James writes in the fourth chapter of his letter that we should not presume what tomorrow will hold. Instead, he cautions us by saying that “you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow” (James 4:14). He is not saying that we shouldn’t plan ahead or have hope for the future but to realize that many things are out of our control.
Rather than “boasting in our arrogance” (4:16) and thinking we can take control of tomorrow, James says that we should pray “if the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that” (4:15). The proper attitude about tomorrow, according to James is to bring God into the planning process. Even when we’re relatively sure of what we want to do we should bring our plans to prayer. As we pray and listen, we may sense God confirming our plans. At other times, we may sense him taking us in a different direction or changing our timeframe. Let us always be sure to remember that our “tomorrow” depends on the grace and mercy of our loving God.
A Prayer for Tomorrow
from the Diocese of Sandhurst, Australia
each day as I step further into my future,
give me the courage, knowledge and
patience that I need.
Remind me that you always journey with me
and that you will never lead me into anything
that you won’t lead me through.
Thank you for the gift of my life.
May the way I live be my gift back to you
with your love and guidance
In Jesus’ name. Amen.