Years ago a friend enthusiastically introduced me to George Morrison (1866-1928) - a Scottish preacher famously at Wellington Church, Glasgow. My friend bought me some of his books (5 in all) and dipping into them I find more off-centre sparklets. Morrison loved arresting titles as above for - Jas 4:14 'How do you know what will happen even tomorrow? (JB Phillips), He sees this text as so obvious yet the Bible, the most original of books...is never afraid of lending all its authority to commonplaces. He asks us to think what we would lose if we did know about tomorrow.
1. The element of surprise. Do we realize how deep our debt is to the unexpected? Childhood is generally happier than age....in childhood everything is strange - every day that breaks, even in rain, is big with a whole world of possibility. In middle age we are past the unexpected...that is why many a person in middle age is haunted by a lack of interest in things.
2.The spirit of vigorous alertness - to something more than certainty. I do not want a satisfying life. I want a life responsive and alert. I want to be quick to see and quick to seize upon the will of God. The feeling that we know not what may come that helps us to be watchful every day.
3. The tenderness of love. Wherever there is love there is a wistful tenderness that nothing but uncertainty could give. If we knew everything, love would be too hard. If we knew everything, love would be too easy. It is far better that we do not know the secret of tomorrow.
4. A loss of trust in God. Here is a patient, and tomorrow morning she has to undergo an operation.. very serious and critical. Why is she praying and her friends remembering her in prayer? Why? Because all the skill of the world cannot tell her what a day may bring. The day is coming in the light of God when yesterdays and tomorrows shall have fled. Meantime life is richer and not poorer because we know not what a day may bring.
Yes, the discipline of uncertainty!