Summary: Preached at a rescue mission. Some face tomorrow in fear, some in denial. But you can face tomorrow by discovering what God is giving you today.
The other day I heard about a woman who was so upset because she was about to be forty years old that she got on an airplane, flew out over the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the International Date Line, where as you may know the calendar changes, just so that she would not actually be anywhere on the day she turned forty. Now isn’t that ridiculous? It didn’t change anything, did it? She was just as old on that side of the date line as she was on this one, and when she came down to earth, she was forty years old plus one day. It didn’t settle anything, did it? Nice try, but no cigar.
You know, maybe I’ll try that when I get to be forty years old. Some day I might own up to that advanced age! Oh, oh, some of the people behind me know that my SON turns forty this coming Saturday, so I guess I can’t hide be forty any more. It won’t work, any more than flying across the International Date Line works. I’ll just come right out and admit it. I will admit that I was born on February 3, in Louisville, Kentucky. In what year? Oh, in nineteen-hundred-and-none-of-your-business!
Oh, don’t we play around with time? Don’t we mess around with dates and age and the calendar? When we’re really young, we like to pretend we’re older. My three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter informs me regularly that she is not a baby anymore. Her little sister, not yet two, Jackie, is still a baby, says Olivia. But Olivia, aged three and a half, is not a baby any more. I know she’s not because she told me so. She loves to pretend to be older.
When we’re very young we want to be older; we want it to be tomorrow, when we can do all the things we can’t do when we’re very young. When we get a little farther along, we want it to be tomorrow, so we can get out of school and won’t have to do all that schoolwork. When we get farther along than that, we begin to dread tomorrow, because tomorrow we will have to get up and go to work and do the same old same old we did yesterday and the day before that and the day before that, and if tomorrow is going to look like every yesterday, who needs it?!
And then when we get really old – I mean really old, like anybody who’s older than I am – when we get really old, we worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow is might bring sickness and arthritis and weakness. Tomorrow might even bring death.
Not a pretty picture, this thing we have about tomorrow. I guess some of us would like to be on that plane, crossing the International Date Line, trying to avoid tomorrow.
But I want you to see tonight that there are different ways to face tomorrow. Different approaches. Some people face tomorrow with fear. Some people face tomorrow with denial. But some people face tomorrow by getting discovering today. Let me repeat that. Some people face tomorrow with fear; they are afraid of what tomorrow will bring, and so they go into a shell and try to avoid it. And some people face tomorrow with denial; they just won’t face the facts, they just won’t get at what needs to be done, they sort of sit around and wait for the lightning to strike. They face tomorrow in denial.
But, praise God, some people face tomorrow by discovering today. Some people deal with what tomorrow may bring because they can know that what is going on today is a building block. They know that tomorrow is rooted in today.
Let me put it more bluntly than that. Some people get over their fears about tomorrow, some people get beyond denying that there might be a problem tomorrow, some people do this by discovering that God is at work today, right now, right here, that God is at work in us today to equip us for tomorrow. God brings tomorrow into today. Let’s look at this some more.
First, let’s talk about how some of us face tomorrow with fear. Would you agree that many of us are not very hopeful about what tomorrow will bring, because our yesterdays are such a mess? If you have lost every job you ever had; if your family wants nothing to do with you; if you cannot even remember half of your yesterdays because you were wasted; if today you don’t have the slightest idea what to do with yourself, then what makes you think that tomorrow will be any different? Lots of people think that way.
Somebody has said that the best description of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. If I am working on some electrical device, and stick in my screwdriver and get a shock, it’s pretty stupid if I stick my screwdriver right back in the same place to see if I get another shock, isn’t it? So the smart thing to do is to be afraid of that electricity and back off, isn’t it?