General

“Tomorrow, if God wants.” - by Tara Hibbs

Jan 27, 2016

James 4:13-15:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

I was sitting on the older chair next to Miss Elose’s (now Mme. Francois’s) desk making arrangements for the following day.  We were going to Nouveau Kiskeya for a beach day!  As the wonderful Miss Elose was working her negotiating-magical skills about pricing and times with the chauffer, I only caught maybe three out of ten Haitian Creole words to be able to piece together the conversation.  I remember feeling anxious, because when Miss Elose is on a roll she is a force to reckon with.  While I was trying to focus on what she was saying, so I could add my two cents, I noticed that every time she said, “demen” (tomorrow), which was a lot due to the fact the plans were set for the following day, she never hesitated to quickly follow up with, “Si Dye vle.”

Demen, si Dye vle.  Demen, si Dye vle.  Demen, si Dye vle.  Demen, si Dye vle.

“Tomorrow, if God wants.”  I have noticed this phrase before commonly said in conversation.  It is a phrase I have come to love, appreciate, and implement to my personal life, but I remember being utterly stricken that day.  I was thinking, “Miss Elose, you are talking so fast, you are trying to make a deal, can’t you just save your breath and say “demen” without the “Si Dye vle”? 

Nope, not an option for Haitian culture or Miss Elose.

I love this.  I love that every detail is scheduled far in advance in modern American culture.  “We will get dinner next month.”  “We will buy a new house next year.”  “Tomorrow, I will go to the gym after work.”  There is not a thought of the fragility of time or the power of God’s hand orchestrating our lives.  Haitians understand this.  Haitians have taught me this.  I have learned from Haitian culture to respect the power and sovereignty of God.  What I have planned for tomorrow may be completely different from what God has planned.  I may plan a quick visit with a student’s family leaving enough time to grade in the afternoon.  Four hours later, I am arriving at home in time for a quick shower before bed.  God thought it would be best if I spent more time with a family rather than grading. 

The beauty of “Si Dye vle” is peace and trust.  Peace that no matter what tomorrow brings (or doesn’t bring) it’s in God’s hands, why worry?  Trust that God is infinitely greater than I am, and His plans are infinitely better than my plans, why question?

I lost a dear, sweet friend this past fall.  She woke up Saturday morning in good health, but she worshipped with the Lord that Sunday morning.  Demen, si Dye vle.  Norma and Roger traveled to Haiti in August ready for another year, but Norma was diagnosed with cancer.  Demen, si Dye vle.

Let’s learn a precious lesson from Haitian culture and commit to pursue peace and trust that what He wants is better than what we want, and tomorrow (demen) let’s give it our best shot.

If God wants…  (Si Dye vle…)