Not one of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Notice the word “will” in the preceding sentence. Oh, we might know what tomorrow may bring, but no one this side of Heaven knows for certain.
Speculation has been the ruin of many a good person, when that speculation is the place said person rests their hopes and dreams and sense of worth. I am not saying that a person shouldn’t dream and hope and plan, for the future. I am saying that because we do not know what tomorrow will bring, we need to keep those things in perspective and do those things with contingencies and flexibility; placing our future in the hands of God.
In the devotional I read this very morning, the author spoke of a sunny Saturday morning with the breeze and the warmth of a beautiful summer day. All seemed to be the perfect day to enjoy the activities and fellowship of the neighborhood block party long scheduled and highly anticipated, were it not for the weather prognostication of the prior week. Just seven short days earlier, the regional news broadcast reported a weather pattern bringing seven straight days of rain. Because of that forecast, all the weekend festivities were canceled.
Because the community had laid all its hopes on a sunny day to make the neighborhood enjoy a weekend of festivity, the forecast (by its very nature an educated guess) resulted in a beautiful summer weekend filled with a neighborhood of what ifs and what are we going to dos.
Early in our life together, my wife and I often tried to arrange parties and neighborhood get-togethers. We were little interested in what the weatherman had to say. I can remember one party; we had erected a volleyball net in our side yard and invited 20-some to come for a picnic and volleyball extravaganza. Well, maybe the weatherman was hurt for lack of an invitation, but all our festivities were met with rain.
I think the un-invited weather surprise wound up being the hit of the party. In other words, we planned the picnic, so we had the picnic. We desired to enjoy the company of friends and neighbors, so we did just that. So we needed to move the chicken rotisserie into the garage, we also needed to grab a supply of towels for guests to clean off after leaving the volleyball game; which had become a slip-slidey, grass-stainy and eventually muddy triumph in our endeavor to fellowship.
Facing life knowing that tomorrow might bring with it any sort of unforeseen circumstances should be an exciting prospect of learning how to cope instead of leading us to days of regret because things didn’t quite go the way I planned.
We should not allow this COVID-19 pandemic to set us into a downward spiral of doom and gloom because our plans cannot be carried out to the letter. I have heard conversations about how devastating this pandemic has been for our local economy because of the need to cancel The Pumpkin Show. Well, how wonderful it is to have also heard murmurings of alternative activities that are potential contingencies that would permit our community of caring, respectful people to engage, have fun, be supportive and live life abundantly.
Additionally, our children and teachers are soon to embark onto a new and somewhat frightening adventure. The social media has been inundated with opinion and innuendo: Sometimes earnest and constructive often times heated and problematic. The fact of the matter is that the education of our children is a vital aspect of life. Some are able to do so quite nicely at home with all the current technology, however, most are not.
The reasons they are not equipped is not the issue at this time, just the fact that education is vital and most of our children learn better in the classroom environment. Therefore, it is important that we get our schools back into operation. Now more than ever, we all must do our part to help. We must be flexible yet strive to follow every known deterrent to the spread of viruses. We must help our children to understand the need for and the practice of these protocols no matter our personal view. We cannot use the school system as a babysitting service. If our children are symptomatic, we must exercise living with contingency and flexibility and find a way to keep them home.
Finally, and I would not be truly expressing my love and concern for all if I did not share, there is one absolute in all that this life throws at you. This one truth gives me strength and the freedom enjoy each day. We are loved and if we will recognize that love and express it in return, there is nothing this side of Heaven that can take away our future place in eternal bliss.
Face each day, come what may and find reason to rejoice in it!
Written and submitted by Robert Henry, Senior Minister of Living by Faith Ministries, Member of Pickaway County Ministerial Association.