The greater context of James 4 warns us not to boast about our “arrogant schemes.” It is a reminder that we are finite. We are not God. Only God is God.
But James is not meant to be a downer. It is meant to be a call to action.
The reality is that our lifetime is relatively brief. When you consider time eternal, any one human existence is just a blip on the radar. The incredible message of James is that accepting this perspective of the truth allows us to live a beautiful and meaningful blip. To not give ourselves too much credit or put too much undue burden on ourselves.
We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We can scarcely accurately explain what is happening today. Our role in the cosmic story is not to have it all figured out. It is not to know all the answers or fight the one definitive battle that changes the course of everything.
Whether we are kings or priests or laypersons, teachers or plumbers, artists or scientists, we are all called to steward the one precious life we have been given. It is a beautiful opportunity. One that will be over before we know it. Today is a day to make the most of your time on the earth.