“You Never Know These Days”

This past Wednesday, before I began a day trip to Dallas to speak at a great church, I stopped in for a “quick” lunch at Luby’s Cafeteria—not my usual dining experience. As I sat down, I remembered why. The closest customer to my age was 40 years my senior. At the same time, I’m not too proud to eat at Luby’s. Everyone enjoys good food, and Luby’s certainly puts on a good spread. Even if you’re eating by yourself. At Luby’s Cafeteria. On a Wednesday. Judge not lest ye be judged.

As I was eating, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of the elderly gentleman and his 75 year-old protégé in the booth next to me. Not because I was eavesdropping—because he had more hear-n-aids that I had squash on my plate. Needless to say, his volume was certainly above average.

They were discussing the perils of our world, especially today’s problems which, according to him, make life so incredibly uncertain. He summarized their discussion with this adage before he stuffed his final fried fish into his mouth, “You never know these days.” I don’t know why, but that statement really got my mind thinking.

The gentleman was correct. We don’t know what’s going to happen; but his observation, even if it wasn’t parallel with his intention, was very off-base. Life has always been uncertain. We have never known what was going to happen. The uncertainty of life isn’t connected to the unfaithfulness of people or untruthfulness of society. Life is fragile. Time is fleeting. We’re always one bite or beat away from death. James, the brother of Jesus, says life is nothing more than a “mist” or “vapor” that appears for a while and then vanishes. (James 4:14) This coming from a man who lived two thousand years before us!

Since life is so uncertain, what are you doing with yours? As a mist, what have you left undone, that you need to do, before you “fade” away?

  • Do you need to forgive someone you haven’t yet forgiven? If so, read Matthew 6:14-15 about what Jesus had to say about it. Don’t be surprised if it keeps you up at night.
  • Have you still not told your unbelieving friend about Jesus?
  • Have you made promises to God you haven’t fulfilled?
  • Have you put off obeying the gospel—being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and gift of the Holy Spirit?
  • The list could go on and on.

Time is clicking away. Each day you take one step closer to the grave. As a “mist”, what have you left undone, that you need to do, before you “fade” away? Finish what you need to finish. Solve what you need to solve. Heal what you need to heal. For one day, it will be too late.

Jacob Hawk serves as the Pulpit Minister for Faith Village Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas. He holds both bachelor and master’s degrees in Bible from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He and his wife, Natalie, have three sons-Hayden, Hudson, and Hewitt.