How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that”—James 4:14-15 (TLB).
After a prolific professional football career, Walter Payton died at the young age of 45 from a rare liver disease. Known as one of the most outstanding and beloved pro football players of all time, Payton set records and amassed numerous awards. What many may not know about him is that Payton was a Christian.
His faith is reflected in many of his quotes. “Remember,” he once said, “tomorrow is promised to no one.”
Payton’s phrase originated in Proverbs 27:1. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Payton certainly understood that because a serious football injury could have ended his career at any time.
Our Lives Can End Anytime
When my phone rang a few weeks ago, I wasn’t prepared to hear the news relayed to me by a former neighbor. I’d been friends with B.J. and Stan, as well as another couple who were also neighbors when I lived in a different city. They were not only neighbors but wonderful friends.
When B.J. said, “Mike Bishop died,” I was stunned. My first response was, “Bonnie’s Mike?” Bonnie is now a widow. Mike was in his early 70s. He’d had some past health issues, but for as long as I’d known him, Mike had been physically active and involved in the neighborhood, helping those younger and older, including me.
I’m sure Mike wasn’t expecting to die that day. He’d not been ill. Nor had he slowed down from volunteering to help the neighbors. His sudden death was unexpected. However, it’s comforting to know that Mike Bishop was a believer.
Tomorrow is Promised No One
In one of his daily devotionals, O.S. Hawkins wrote, “Many people—even believers—seem to have the idea that heaven is a long way off. But it really isn’t. James asked his readers, ‘What is your life?’”
James answered his own question when he wrote, “life is really just a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
Why then do we go about our lives as if we will live forever? We make our plans. Some etch them into stone, certain nothing will change. But life is not guaranteed. Neither is tomorrow.
Our Only Guarantee
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you do have a guarantee—a guarantee of eternal life. Heaven is only a heartbeat away but for those who have faith in Christ, it isn’t the end. Heaven is our forever home.
Billy Graham once said, “My home is in heaven. I’m just passing through this world.”
As we pass through this world, we’re only promised today. Each day, our heart beats 115,200 times. One day, it will stop beating. However, we don’t know what day that will be. Only our Heavenly Father does. Make each heartbeat, each day count. Share your faith with others who might not know Jesus Christ and His redeeming grace. After all, we’re called to be His disciples. It’s our life purpose before He calls us home.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.