Saturday, August 14, 2010

I am Thankful for Tomorrow

Tomorrow is ever before us. It contains our hopes and dreams, even those that will never come to be. Faith focuses on tomorrow for tomorrow is framed with the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Yes, there are days and seasons when tomorrow is draped in doubt and fear, but even then we posit in tomorrow an end to our suffering.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. Cheryl and I have begun an adult Sunday school class series on the Song of Solomon. We have talked about this for years always agreeing it needed to be done, yet wondering how it would be received. It all started about fifteen years ago. I was teaching a class with Doug Slocumb on Family Ministry. We had a session planned on human sexuality and I was contemplating reading the book to the class as a discussion starter. But my Victorian upbringing was standing in my way.

I asked Alethea, who was still a teenager, if she thought I should read the text in a contemporary translation to my class. She looked at me with a bit of shock, “Dad, listen to yourself. You’re a Pentecostal preacher and you’re asking yourself if it is alright to read the Bible to a class of seminary students.”

Shamed by your offspring into doing the right thing, I guess I was the first father to whom that happened.

The next year Cheryl agreed to come to the class and read the text with me. We have done that ever since; skipping only the year Alethea took the class.

My tomorrows past have been a fertile garden of dreams fulfilled. I have been blessed beyond imagination. I have two daughters who know and serve God, two sons-in-law who love them and God, and two grandchildren who are loving, thoughtful and healthy. My tomorrows are bright as I watch their lives unfold.

Tomorrow, Cheryl and I will continue our journey into places we have never been. We are doing something that we have thought about doing for a long time. It may not be exciting or groundbreaking, but it is our shared tomorrow.  The best is yet to come, as long as we survive.  [In my youth I had a saying -- I'm going to keep on keeping on until I can't, and then I'm going to die and go to heaven.]

Cleveland, Tennessee
August 14, 2010

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