Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)
By Gordon Lavoie
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My mother, bless her soul, had a saying for such distressing days. She would comfort me with gentle arms, and loving voice, “That’s why God made tomorrow, darling, for tomorrow will be different, tomorrow all the troubles of today shall disappear.” She would comfort me, and wisely bid me, “Go to sleep now, and awake again, tomorrow is another day.”
I remember as a student, when faced with what I thought was a crisis that would surely be the onset of my demise, a wise and noble professor quoted the Hebrew, “gam zeh yaavor,” translation, “This too shall pass.” As I thought about his words, my composure would return, I would realize my problem was transient, remember my mother’s words, and again, look forward to the tomorrow that would see my difficulties dissolve.
As a man, I found myself in the company of much greater rivals than those that assailed me in my youth. Hardship, became a vessel that sailed everyday, adversity, seemed always, to be adding, and mishap, seldom missed happening. I thought upon my mother’s words, but recognized that tomorrow’s calamities are greater than yesterdays. So I found myself fearing tomorrow, rather than looking to it expectantly.
I considered my teachers' wisdom, only to discover that his adage has two possible outcomes. It originates from an old folktale told of King Solomon. It seems, Solomon, to teach his servant a lesson, sends him in a search of a nonexistent magical ring, which, if a sad man looked upon the ring, he became happy, and if a happy man looked upon the same, he became sad. When Solomon’s servant, Benaiah, finds a ring with the inscription, “gam zeh yaavor,” or “This too shall pass” he is joyful, for he realizes his dilemma, and others like it, will eventually elapse. When he returns on the appointed day finding Solomon joking with his court about the impossible charge Benaiah was sent on, he hands the ring to the King. Upon reading the inscription, Solomon is saddened, for he realizes his merriment too shall pass, and all his wisdom, wealth and tremendous power, are but short-lived. I therefore, could obtain no solace in my professor's axiom either, for the insight of “this too shall pass” tastes bitter and sweet simultaneously.
So I sought understanding from my Mother’s God. The same God which gave Solomon his wisdom, I might add. And as I looked into Christ’s tomorrow, I discovered another bittersweet truth, for it also has two outcomes. God’s message to the human race serves two separate purposes. For every time one hears the word of God, it will either enhance their salvation or magnify their judgment. The Gospel is “to one, the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” While one hears and “believes unto eternal life,” another hears, rejects, and attains eternal death, or as Jude says, the “blackness of darkness forever.”
Understanding the importance of this truth, and realizing that life is so short, (in fact, “a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”) The choice was clear, and without hesitation, I opted for my saintly mother’s camp. Now I find her maxim was the true one, I just had the tomorrow wrong. The problems of this world, as my mother said, is exactly the reason, “why God made tomorrow. For tomorrow will be different, tomorrow all the troubles of today shall disappear.”
However, it’s in God’s tomorrow, not mine, and not yours. If we would have the peace that tomorrow promises, we must place our faith in God’s tomorrow. “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Trouble and today, may be considered synonyms in this world, but “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
I therefore, will anxiously and expectantly, await tomorrow.
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