"WISDOM OF LIVING (40) TOMORROW" By Pastor YAU
Text: Matthew 6:25-34 January 8, 2006
- A story: Emily, 10, was helping her grandma cooking breakfast. They were making boil eggs. Granny wanted the eggs cooked just right. Emily stared into the boiling water and wondered how in the world she might know if the eggs were cooked right. She said to her granny, "Pity we canít open them up and see how they are doing." Grandma agreed. "But that would spoil them, so we have to rely on guesswork, with no guarantee of results." Granny replied.
- A lesson: We often wish we could see what lies around the corner in life. Then we could prepare for it, control it or avoid it. We want to be able to control our future even though we know we can do little, if any, to control or change what is coming tomorrow. But meddling with tomorrow before it comes is just like opening partly boiled eggs, we would certainly spoil both today and tomorrow.
THE MANY FACES OF TOMORROW:
- To children: To most children, tomorrow represents unlimited future. The sky is the limit on the future for children. Children like to dream what they may do or to become when they grow up. What are the things they want to achieve, to buy, to have, to do and list goes on and on. It is an exciting thing just to think about tomorrow. The unknown nature of tomorrow is never a problem to children. All they want to know is that they have tomorrow.
- To youth: To be young is both a blessing and a difficult thing. The blessing part is because they are full of energy and opportunities are everywhere. They know lot more than when they were children and they can do lot more as well. But facing tomorrow can be a huge challenge because they are old enough to realize that life is not as easy as they used to think. Doubts and uncertainty could cloud they mind and dampen their hopes.
- To the optimists: Those who are optimistic will see tomorrow as a treasure hunt trip: unknown but rewarding. It is full of hope and excitement to face tomorrow. The problem of the optimists is that they never have control of the future. Being optimistic doesnít give them the assurance of success or reward. They need to have plan 2: what if optimism is not enough.
- To the pessimists: Those who belong to this category see tomorrow as a thread, a danger, a dread or a potential of problems. Fear and doubt block them from seeing any light or possibility of anything good. The problem of the pessimists is that they never know there is a bright side of life and it is available to all who want to seek. They also need to have plan 2: what if life is not as bad as they expect.
- To the realists: Most people belong to this category: standing in the middle ground. Yes, life is never predictable but there is always a way out. It may be raining like pouring, but the sun will come out if not tomorrow then the day after. They believe in the silver lining of the dark clouds. Live one day at a time and leave the uncertainty of tomorrow to tomorrow.
WHY DO WE WANT TO KNOW TOMORROW? Wanting to know tomorrow prompts a huge business: fortune telling, palm reading, self appointed "prophets" will tell us what they predict to happen tomorrow, next month or the coming year. Books, articles, speeches, seminars are everywhere drawing thousands, if not millions, to pay and hear what they donít really know. The craving to know tomorrow is always there.
- For security: We talked about security before that it is the most important element in life or survival. Man wants to know what lies ahead tomorrow so he may plan or be prepared to handle whatever it may be coming to survive.
- For control: The desire to control is part of human nature: controlling things and people around for selfish benefit. Many wars and personal conflicts begin with the desire to control by one party over the other. If one is able to know what may happen tomorrow, he will be in control the environment and people.
- For wealth: Insider trading is a crime but it still is a popular game in business arena. People who knows what is going to happen tomorrow in the market, the stocks, the financial world, they will sell or buy or do other things to get rich. This is also true in betting: horse racing, lottery and other gambling business. If they can know what may happen next or tomorrow, they certainly will take a few steps earlier to gain wealth.
- For curiosity: Most men understand that they cannot change anything about tomorrow even if they can see what lies ahead but still want to know because of curiosity. Most people have the desire wanting to know what they are forbidden to know.
- For pride: Remember what the devil used to entice Eve: you will be like God. God is the only one who knows everything including tomorrow. Man wants to be like God so he must be able to know tomorrow. People who doesnít believe or submit to God certainly want to know about tomorrow so they can play God since God is suppose to be the only one who knows tomorrow.
WE DONíT REALLY NEED TO KNOW: This statement is not made out of spirit of surrender but the spirit of victory. Here are the reasons:
- It is not a real problem: The fact that we canít see tomorrow is not a real problem because we have God who can. Even in real life today, there are many things we canít see, donít understand, canít do anything to change it, but we still live happily. How much better when we have God who can see, can change, understands all who promises to be with us even to the end of the world.
- It doesnít make any difference: Even if we can see what lies tomorrow, what can we do to change anything? Jesus makes it clear that there is nothing we may do to extend our lives for another hour.
- Things we may not like to know: Godís plan for our lives is never the same as ours. There will be things in the future we donít like but we have to face them in advance if we know they are coming. That must be an awful feeling. There are times we wish we donít know, right? Think about this hypothetical situation: do you really want to know that you will die in a car accident? How will that knowledge play in your heart and mind every time you drive your car out of your garage?
- Better live by faith than by sight: We are not talking about blind faith or faith in finite beings. We are talking about faith in an almighty God who knows us better than ourselves, can do lot more than we can and love us more than we love ourselves. Trusting in a loving and all powerful God is much better than knowing all things and have to handle them all ourselves.
- This world is never our destiny: We are in transient in this world and therefore there is no need to be well prepared here. Our real home is up there in heaven where Jesus is preparing the mansion for all of us. Donít spend too much attention and energy on things here on earth or you wonít have much to work and plan for heaven. Whatever may happen to us here is not that important for our real destiny. Think as if you are traveling. We donít really need to know what is there in that country or city or what may happen to you. You will soon be going home. Right?
- Let God do His work: Too often, we are so busy doing things for God and complain that we are exhausted. We believe that He is loving and powerful but we seldom allow Him to handle things we canít handle. Since we canít see what is there tomorrow, we need to let Him handle that. Being anxious or worrisome never help.
- Focus on the right thing: Things we can see are mostly not important. Things we canít see are more important. Things we can see are mostly temporary and things we canít see are eternal. Be wise on where to spend you energy and attention.
- There may not be another tomorrow: Many people delay to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior because they believe there always will be another tomorrow. The fact is no one can guarantee that. Make that decision while you can to save a place for your eternity. Donít wait till tomorrow because there may not be one for you.