“Someday” is a day we all often talk about but rarely think that it is anything that should be on our priority list today. “We will all die, someday.” “Someday, I want to go on a long cruise.”. “Someday, I’m going to get that checked out.” “Someday, I’m going to try that new diet.” “I will retire from this company someday.” “Someday, I’m going to read the bible.” “Someday, I will go to church with my family.” “Let’s have them over for dinner someday.” “Someday, I’m going to fix that leak.” “Someday, things will be better.” “Someday, you’ll thank me for this.” And the “some days” go on and on.
“Some days” are good days, “some days” we hope will never come even if we know that day is inevitable. The one thing all “some days” have in common is they all require planning. “I don’t have time right now, but someday, I’ll get around to making that plan.” “Someday, I’ll have more time than I do now.”
How often do we use that word? Once we start paying attention, it is surprising how it seems to creep into our vocabulary. For me, and probably for many people, “someday” is a placeholder for the inevitable that I want to procrastinate. “Someday, I’ll clean out the garage.” “Someday, I’ll trim all of those bushes around the house.
TODAY IS SOMDAY FOR SOMBODY
Every day is that “someday” for someone, as long as it isn’t for us, it’s usually ok. Sometimes, however, that “somebody” is someone close to us and it makes a traumatic impact. It seems that every night when I watch the news before going to bed, there is at least one story about a fire that killed or displaced a family, a natural disaster that has caused dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people to lose everything. I watch and think I’m glad it wasn’t me but feel compassion for those who are affected.
A few years ago, I went with a group from our church to Joplin, Missouri right after a tornado devastated a large part of the city. Being an area where tornados are fairly common, I’m sure many people thought they were “prepared”, but no one could be prepared for the aftermath of something like what we saw when we arrived in Joplin. That “someday” was “today” for thousands of people. Although there were thousands more people who rushed in to help clean up and rebuild, I can’t help be remember a young family with a small baby who pitched a tent behind where we were operating from. That tent, a car and the clothes they had on them was all they had left when they arrived. The church gave them more clothes, food and help, but they eventually decided to just pack up and move away because they weren’t prepared to deal with what was left behind.
Several months later, back at home, I received a call as the Chaplain on duty for the Sheriff’s Department, to go to a fatal accident and make a death notification to the family. I arrived just as the Fire Department was removing the body of a young mother from the wreckage of a small pickup truck that hit a dump truck head on. It was one of the worst scenes I’ve ever witnessed and I had to visit her father and deliver the news. It isn’t easy telling someone that “Someday is Today” for someone they love.
“SOMEDAY WE MUST ALL DIE”
The inevitable is obvious to us all yet few of us are truly prepared when it happens to someone we love and care about. Recently, a very good friend lost his battle with cancer. We all knew it would happen “someday”, but that “someday” happened so suddenly, it seemed. Even though his family and all of us knew it might not be long, and even though we thought we were “prepared”, we never really are when that “someday” is today.
No amount of preparation ever seems adequate when disaster or the inevitable strikes. Certainly, planning and preparation helps, but it always seems to fall short when we think we should rely on it, and that brings me to ask the question:
WHAT LIES BEYOND PREPARATION?
Perhaps what we are seeking is the “quintessential” solution. The term itself comes from man seeking a greater solution beyond what we find in our own world. The basic “essences” man dealt with was “earth”, “wind”, “fire” and “water”. But all of those seemed to run out or have limitations, and thus man was looking for the “fifth” essence, or “quintessence” that transcended all that was known to man which was the “Spirit”.
All things in this world are “finite”, thus earth, wind, fire and water are also finite. The earth is large, the water seems limitless, but in reality, there is finite quantity of water on this planet, just as there is a finite amount of soil and other elements that make up the earth. This is why man has always sought the “quintessence” because it is “infinite” and thus can explain and help bring all of the finite things together for us.
Like the four essences, our efforts to prepare for inevitable future events fall short because, they too are finite. We can purchase insurance, store food, water, supplies, build shelters and a whole host of options that may be available to us. For example, some think they should store up enough food and water for a few weeks, or months, but there are events or disasters that could easily go beyond that time and although we may be better prepared than most people, we can eventually still fall short of what we need. Perhaps we have even said “Someday, I will stock up on all of those disaster supplies just in case.” At some point, whether it be sooner or later, we will need the ultimate quintessence: God.
Relying on ourselves for every possible situation or event is simply foolishness. One might say failing to prepare for the inevitable is foolishness, thus stock up on all of the essentials we need for any kind of disaster or event. However, one must ask the ultimate question of someone who holds to that perspective, “if death is inevitable, what have you done to prepare for life after death?” Perhaps someone with an atheistic or even agnostic world view might say they don’t “believe” in life after death, but simply not believing it doesn’t make it true. What if they are wrong? If it is foolish to fail to prepare for events on earth that may never happen, why is it not foolish not to prepare for an inevitable event? By preparing for eternal life, if it turns out there is no after life as the atheist believes, what have they lost? Nothing! But if they fail to prepare and find out they are wrong, they will be eternally wrong for which there is no remedy for that problem once it occurs.
Even major natural disasters, like earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, wild fires, etc, there comes a time where all of our worldly preparation fails and we need the comfort and reliance on God that transcends the finite with infinite love and intervention. Hebrews 13:5-6Hebrews 13:5-6
English: World English Bible - WEB
5 Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.” 6 So that with good courage we say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
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5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
Another inevitable event that will occur someday, although some may not live long enough to see it, billions of people will, and that is the event commonly referred to as the “rapture” of the Church. Jesus describes it briefly in Matthew 24. An regarding that event, Jesus tells us to “be prepared” in verse 44:
“44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
The Apostle Paul also tells us in his 2nd letter to Timothy in Chapter 4, Verse 2 to “Be ready in season and out of season.” In other words, we must prepare for the Spiritually inevitable as well as the worldly inevitable.
No one escapes the inevitable. Everyone’s “someday” will be a “today” on some day, whether it is literally “today” or another day, it will occur, good or bad, prepared or not. No matter what the event nor the day it occurs, we will find it easier when we rely on God through Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:4-62 Corinthians 3:4-6
English: World English Bible - WEB
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God; 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
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4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
All who relied on God’s sufficiency, as did my dear friend who died, found that day much easier and full of hope because we all knew where he was going and he had found peace. The young lady’s father who I had to notify found no such peace because that family had not, at least yet, sought the comfort of the Spirit of God in their lives. In fact, every family I have ever had contact with whose loved one did not have a relationship with Christ, were devastated and lost in their own grief and sorrow on that day when their “someday” was today.
Even when times are good and the things we have planned for have come about, we still often feel rather overwhelmed in this world. Even if we are about to embark on the planned family vacation, the last minute things that have to be done often overwhelm us. Although we may be embarking on a week or more of fun with our family, relying on God to get us through safely and without incident brings us great comfort and helps us to truly find comfort in the blessings we are about to enjoy.
The people in Joplin, Missouri, like those in hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, earthquakes, plane crashes and the like, will all make it through their difficult time a lot easier when they know they can trust God to walk them through it all. Though all of our “some days” are better when we are fully prepared, may I submit that we are never “fully” prepared unless we have included the “quintessence” of the Holy Spirit of God in our planning. Relying on Him when our strength and resources give out provides us with an “infinite” solution when our “finite” resources have been depleted.