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Written by Gradye Parsons

Each month the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Moderator or Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly write a column of general interest for the church-at-large.

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January 1, 2014

January 2013 - The future and a good night’s sleep

Abraham Lincoln said “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” I wonder if Abe would say that today with our high-speed high-definition world. To review the speed at which the first home computer became today’s tablet does seem to reflect a future that shows up faster and faster. I also wonder if the president had the same patience for the news of the American Civil War ending. Everything I have read says he did not.

The distinction is that good news can’t get here soon enough and bad news, please take your time. Please Lord express ship the cheesecake but let the brussels sprouts come parcel post. If my daily bread is pleasant bring it on, but if it is not then I am in no hurry to receive it.

We are beginning another new year. It will have the regular 365 days. Fifty-two of those days will be Sundays when the community of faith gathers. In those communities they will bring words of worship and prayers to God that cover the range of thank you with all of my heart to why did you let my heart break. The Lord will answer those prayers faithfully one day at a time.

This dance requires discipline. The discipline to have the eyes of faith that see what God is calling us to do today. The eyes to not see what God is calling us to do tomorrow but we are willing anyway. Or, as my wife says when we dance, “Why don’t you just let me take the lead!”

So why do we lose sleep on our tomorrows? Is it the fear that there is a big bag of brussel sprouts bad news coming our way? God has got that sleeping part down too.

From Psalm 121:3–4,

He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel

will neither slumber or sleep.

So take this new year one day at a time. Get some rest at night. God is already working on tomorrow.

Tags: gradye parsons, monthly column, patience, stated clerk, time