Does anyone else have a hard time knowing what we can know for sure? It is perhaps the explosion of means of obtaining information that makes certainty uncertain. Who is telling the truth? Who really has the truth to tell? And who can be trusted not to shave the unlikely edges of the truth?
Or maybe it’s the sheer number of broken promises and failed reviews that make it hard to trust the myriad claims thrown around today. In my opinion, things are not going well in too many areas of life. But, apparently, there is no agreement on why, how or who we should turn to to get them back on track.
Or maybe we’re just suffering from a national malaise that really is the stuff of “long COVID” given that nearly everything proclaimed as certain during the pandemic has turned out to be anything but.
If you’re like me, you just want a healthy dose of reality, or certainty. You know, a simple list of what you can know and what you can rely on for sure. So, as yours truly’s columnist, I’m here to save you from the pool of confusion by stating things we can all know for sure.
First of all, I’m sure the sun will rise tomorrow, and it’s not just because a pretty little girl named Annie sang it that way. I have history on my side. What I mean is, whatever ups and downs come our way – and right now, it looks like the downs are outright winners! – I know that tomorrow will come with a series of new challenges and opportunities. It also means that every day is a gift, wrapped up in a unique 24-hour set that we’ll never encounter in exactly the same way again. We just have to take tomorrow by the setbacks and make it useful, beneficial and excellent. So when tomorrow comes, remember, as someone somewhere once said, “Yesterday was a canceled check, and tomorrow is a promissory note.” Today is money…spend it wisely.
Second, I’m sure the greatest things in life are to love and to be loved. Yes, you can take it to the bank or to dinner. Your choice. At the root of all life is the desire to be loved, to be recognized, to be appreciated and cared for, to be provided for and protected. To be loved is the most essential need we have as human beings and yet you will not find it represented in our genetic code. The desire – indeed the need – to be loved cannot be explained by purely naturalistic chemical processes, but it is nonetheless real and vital.
But equally necessary is the need to love. History proves it to every generation. A key element of being human is the desire to shower our love on someone else. We crave it and are able to love with consistency and intensity even if that love is unrequited. Surprising. Just as certain as tomorrow’s sunrise is our unquenchable need to love and be loved.
Third, I’m sure when the sun comes up tomorrow we’ll all have one more day. It’s just another way of saying that I’m sure that time will continue, continue to march, with all the consequences that its march will entail. And you can count on time which brings change, and change which brings new challenges, successes, disappointments and tragedies.
Finally, I am also sure that, despite my best intentions, I too often fail to live up to my own standards, let alone the standards of the God who created me, loves me, and provided me so much in this domain. life. And, for me, that means feeling a daily responsibility to be better, to enjoy both what’s left of today and what can be done with tomorrow. It also means that I have a model of what it means to love, because God has always manifested himself in great sacrifices. It also means that I know how wonderful it is to be loved, because his love for me comes through my wonderful wife, my family and my friends. So, as the grains of the hourglass in my life continue to fall, I know this for sure. With all the sadness, brokenness, uncertainty and tragedy that this world continues to produce, I am indeed wonderfully blessed and intend to live like this!
What I know for sure reminds me that my life is beautiful despite the world around me. I only hope that what you know for sure will bring you life and peace, certainty and joy, both love and satisfaction, and above all, the hope-driven energy to make the best of it. left today, and – if God foresees it – all that stands up tomorrow.
Local resident David Hegg is the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church. “Ethically Speaking” appears on Sundays.