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The Promise of Tomorrow

The promise of tomorrow - it represents so many things! Learn what the theme of Orange Conference 2023, "See You Tomorrow," is all about.

We human beings have an interesting relationship with tomorrow.

 

Call it a dance, if you will.

 

Part tango. Sometimes salsa. A breakdance top-rock and head-spin here and there. Always ending with a slow, beautiful waltz. 

 

We all do the dance.

 

We all reek of confidence that we know the steps. 

 

But there is something missing more times than not. 

 

It is like we don’t understand, nor do we feel the music. 

 

Tomorrow is just an assumed reality for most of us. 

 

We never consider that it isn’t promised. We leverage obligations, relationships, conversations, monetary equity and even dreams on its promise. Like a savings account, we assume will never be bankrupt, we wager our very existence on its guarantees.  

 

And we are perplexed and jolted when tomorrow doesn’t come for others, especially if the other is someone we dearly love.

 

The concept of tomorrow represents many things. 

 

It is the promise of tomorrow at the close of every day—this movement of life in defiance of death, an assurance that love is sturdier than hate, right is more confident than wrong, good is more permanent than evil—that allows some of us to even long for the dawn. 

 

Tomorrow isn’t scary. It doesn’t have to be haunting or dreadful. 

 

We don’t have to be afraid of tomorrow.

 

God is already there. 

And at the crux of tomorrow is one word….

 

Hope.

 

Now consider what the hope of tomorrow means to tiny, impressionable minds and hearts, who waddle their way (or are carried crying, kicking, and screaming) toward an unknown door filled with much larger human beings who claim they care and love this invisible God who claims to love them even more.  

 

It is a consistent, caring face, smiling, always so excited to greet them, always remembering their name and their favorite toy, that represents tomorrow — hope — to a child. 

 

It is an unexpected text with a simple encouragement, remembering a big test that a middle schooler is panicked they’ll flunk. 

 

It is presence in the bleachers or the second row or standing against the wall at a big game or recital or production. No words are spoken. Just eyes that catch the other’s that beam pride and confidence and “You got this!” to a heart and mind that is uncertain and anxious. 

 

To be seen, recognized, understood, appreciated, lauded, encouraged, cheered for is one of the greatest gifts we can give the next generation. In a world where a child can be followed by thousands on social media and feel invisible in their own home, seeing a child is hope to a child. 

 

And in case you have forgotten: we adults are just grown-up children. 

 

Adults are children who owe people money and care about things like insurance. 

 

And to be seen, recognized, understood, appreciated, lauded, encouraged, and cheered for is not just one of the greatest gifts we can give the next generation—adults need to be seen and known just as much. 

 

You see, “see you tomorrow” is so much more than a well-worn farewell. 

 

It is a promise to keep showing up to see the next generation and each other. 

It is a promise to keep showing up to give hope to the next generation. 

It is a promise we can make because of the promise of Jesus that the church will be here today, tomorrow, and forever.

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