The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow…
When the winter weather gets a little dreary — for instance, during the midst of the least sunny stretch of weeks that Chicago has seen in decades —I instinctively fight back. One of my tricks is to imagine a little girl, down on her luck, optimistically belting out these words:
When I'm stuck in a day that's gray, and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin, and say:
Oh, the sun will come out tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on 'til tomorrow, come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!I love ya, tomorrow! You're always a day away...
This exercise isn’t too difficult for me, as I had a daughter play the role of Annie when she was a 6-year-old. Those songs were absorbed pretty deeply into my family through rehearsal and repetition.
On a deeper level, another thing that buoys my body and soul in the midst of dismal weather is seeking out bright new ideas. Elmhurst CRC recently hosted (as a satellite site) a daily lunch hour lecture series called the January Series from Calvin University. The January Series provided a daily dose of colorful, provocative perspectives amidst the gray. The most inspirational session for me happened last Friday, when Swedish economist Johan Norberg presented the thesis that we are living in a golden age, the literal best-of-times ever for humanity.
Norberg’s perspective is in direct contrast to what we see during a quick scroll through the daily news. As he puts it, “Many of us see chaos–a disheartening mishmash of catastrophes and corruption, a tidal wave of bad news and big trends threatening our very future. We know this is not the entire story. We need the bigger picture.”
While Norberg didn’t explicitly touch on spiritual themes, the undercurrent of his ideas sprang are based in gratitude: Gratitude for life, gratitude for the present, gratitude for the good things we enjoy and the capabilities we have to address and solve the vexing problems of our current age. Here are just a few examples of miracles that most of us will enjoy today: Indoor plumbing! A smart phone in your pocket plugged into the portable library of humanity’s knowledge! Freedom from heinous, infectious disease based on vaccinations and innovative medications.
Even as the coronavirus spreads across the news and possibly across the globe, our best medical researchers are working toward a vaccine, likely available within mere months.
Contrast that with the Spanish Flu of only 100 years ago in 1918-1919 when 6% of the global population died from the same infectious disease.
Life is hard. Problems can be vexing. Days can be relentlessly gloomy. Chicago weather may continue its lousy routine. But the light of gratitude is resilient enough to keep poking through the clouds. Sometimes a mere song can do the job. A colorful, true new idea is even better.
This I know, the Light of the World is still shining brightly for all humanity, in all circumstances. This Sunday’s worship service (at 10:00!) will celebrate just that. Saturday might be gray again, but Sunday is coming when, indeed, the sun always comes tomorrow!
Bright Blessing to you,