Thursday, April 2, 2009

When Tomorrow Never Comes

I just stumbled across this poem the other day as I was preparing my computer for an operating system reinstallation. I remember my Dad sending it to me shortly after my wife and I returned from my Mom's funeral, but I was in no mood at that particular time to give it much thought or contemplation. Poetry is a genre that I've never really care for, unless it's supplemented by an infectious beat, luscious chords, a righteous "low" end and delightful vocals--you know, everything that makes Metallica worth listening to! Or is that James Brown?! :-)

Although I do find myself enjoying the writings of my friend "The Righteous Rapper", poetry simply as poetry usually doesn't hold my interest. But reading this poem again made me think afresh about the loss that was experienced in our families with the passing of my mother, my aunt and my close cousin within last few years. When my mother died, this was my first real experience with the loss of a loved one. I vaguely remember as a child my grandmothers dying; and a little later, while still a "youth", my uncle died. But these events didn't affect me very much at the time and I moved on without much thought about it. I also lost a friend when I was in High School; but again, I was sad for awhile and then...nothing.

It wasn't until someone very close to me passed away that I realized the impact of "death"; of course, by the time my mom died I had been a Christian for some time. Maybe this is why this particular poem has struck a chord? I don't know. When I read this I also think about a young couple who have been friends of SGCC since before its inception. Pete and Jen were young and married only a few years before the Lord called her home just a few months ago. I know that Pete and the family are still grieving. And yet...

As Christians, we can grieve not only in hope but also in joy. Not joy because we're happy to lose them, but joy because we're happy for their joy...their gain. I know that it's difficult in the midst of grief to consider the joy that our departed loved ones are experiencing; but even as we're called in this life to "weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice", I think we can also "rejoice" with our departed loves ones who at the moment they leave us are "rejoicing" in the presence of our Lord and His Saints. It is good to grieve because we minister to one another as we share with others the sorrow of loss. But let's follow the call of the Spirit to be ever rejoicing--for those for whom we weep are also rejoicing "at home with the Lord".

When Tomorrow Never Comes
(author unknown)
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you;
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready
In Heaven far above,
And that I had to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away
A tear fell from my eye;
For all my life I'd always thought
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much yet to do;
It seem almost impossible
That I was leaving you.
But when I walked through Heven's gates,
I felt so much at home;
When God looked down and smiled at me,
from His great golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity
And all I promise you.
Today your life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
This is but one Eternal Now,
no future and no past;
For in My Presence, precious child,
This day will always last."
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart;
For everytime you think of me,
I'm right there near your heart.
And I, knowing now as God knows me
Will joyfully watch you serving Him,
'Till we are joined together in this wonderful place,
For all eternity.


thekingpin68 said...

'And that I had to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away
A tear fell from my eye;
For all my life I'd always thought
I didn't want to die.'

The last five years the number of persons I know that have died, and not all of them old, has greatly increased.

Thank God for God's everlasting Kingdom. (John 3: 16, Revelation 21-22).

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks for reading...and I agree:

"Thank God for God's everlasting Kingdom. (John 3: 16, Revelation 21-22)."


Greg said...

That is a sweet poem, Googly. I have yet to experience a deep loss like that, and what worries me more is that many people I know are not saved. Am I doing enough to show them the Way Home?

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks Greg,

That's a question I'm sure all of us can ask ourselves and not be confident of a positive answer. It's similar to our continuing struggle with sin: we see sin in our lives (sometimes more often than we can imagine) and have to fight within ourselves to keep from being overly depressed or to give up the fight altogether!

But the one thing that we can always be confident in is God Himself! I don't think we can ever feel like we've been as faithful as we can be either in our Gospel witness or in our Gospel living (which is one and the same thing, really); but God is always faithful to us as our Father and through us as His redeemed people who are Light and Salt in the world.

This is why I keep stressing our being rather than our doing when we consider our lives in this world. We can never do enough to be satisfied...can we?

I think if we purpose to live our lives as Children in our being who we are rather than in our doing what we (think) we should be doing, then we won't be looking so much at the things that we are doing for God and then getting depressed that we're not doing enough (and therefore purpose to do more), but rather we'll be looking at our relationship with God--not if we have one (we have the Spirit testifying to us that we are Children of God!), but how intimate is our relationship with the Person that we call our Father!.

I don't believe I've created a false dichotomy between being and doing...I'm not pitting them against each other. I believe the Scripture teaches that it is our being that results in our doing. In other words, as our relationship with our Father grows in intimacy as Children with a Father, then our lives will reflect that relationship in the things we do and say. And in this way, we don't have to question whether we are doing enough to please our Father because His pleasure is in our desire for intimacy with Him as His Children. We can simply live our lives as His Children and be confident that our lives are pleasing to Him and accomplishing His purpose and will in the world!

I know...easier said than done (pun intended)! But this is the only way to live liberated lives. Our confidence is in Him and the work that He is doing in us by the Spirit.

Actually, the finally post in my series "How Are We To Live?" will be addressing this very issue.

Thanks for the comment and the motivating question--a question we all struggle with!