This is a very ancient proverb originating form south west part of Asian continent. The context of this proverb means that there is a many a time gap between the occurrence of two events and anything can happen in this time gap and things can change in a second. We should never be sure of our success in our life until we have achieved it and should work for it until the last second.
This proverb has an interesting story associated with it. There was a kingdom in south west Asia where the king had a passion for wine. He cultivated grapes and fermented it to wine. He also had a slave who was a very wise man who could foresee the future. The king asked him to predict the yield of grapes that year. The slave replied that there
would be a good yield of grapes. But the king would not be able to drink a single drop of wine as he would not live to see it. The king wanted to prove him wrong. After the yield of grapes he fermented and made wine out of it. He then sent for the slave and said to him
that he has predicted it wrongly. He has the wine and he is going to drink it now. The slave replied that there is many a slip between cup and lip. The king did not understand it and at the same time he had news that a bear was attacking the grapes garden. He thought
that he will go there kill the bear come back and drink the wine. The king fought the bear and was killed in the fight. Thus he died before tasting the wine which came out of his harvest. So within a second things changed drastically and so we should never be sure of
our success until the last second.
This proverb is used to emphasis the power of destiny in our lives. We have the capacity to propose. But it is only God who disposes. MAN PROPOSES BUT ONLY GOD DISPOSES is also a suitable proverb which can be used in place of this one. We can plane many things. At the time of planning and dreaming, many things may seem to be in our favor. But the time is always changing. In the changed environment, the things might not be in our favor.