i can’t guarantee tomorrow

I can’t guarantee tomorrow.

I can’t guarantee that today I won’t take my last breath, that today won’t be my last. I can’t guarantee that this sunrise will be the final, that this won’t be the last day I have.

I can’t guarantee my health, my life, my plans, or what tomorrow will hold.

I watched the sunrise yesterday. I used to do that every morning in high school, watching the ball of fire hovering between space and time climb high in the sky, sweeping back the darkness of the world. But watching the sun yesterday reminded me that we put too much time in the insignificant things, in faulty feelings and plans and empty gain. As adults you have to work and make money and worry about where you’ll live and kids, and your world becomes lost in a swirl of crazy you did not own before.

We plot and plan and wish and dream, but we forget that we cannot guarantee tomorrow.

We forget that we are but dust, here tomorrow and gone today.

In one year, I have lost people dear to me, people I did not expect to fade as they did. In the blink of an eye I watched them disappear into the void where I cannot go. It scares me, this life where time flies, slipping like water through my clutching hands.

I don’t want to lose that zeal I had for life as a teen, to watch the sunrise and walk barefoot in the dew-filled grass, to laugh until my sides hurt and I’m gasping for air. I want to continue to stand in awe of a new day, to see new life as a treasure, to hold onto every beautiful and tender moment.

I don’t want to lose that passion for loving the broken, for searching for beauty in the cracked and bleeding. I want to continue watch that ball of fire sweep back the darkness and remember that while I cannot guarantee tomorrow, I can guarantee the power of the light that burns brightly, that does not allow the darkness to last forever.

I refuse to lose that truth: there is darkness, but the light burns ever the brighter for it.

I cannot guarantee tomorrow or the next day or the one after. I hold no control over my life or what will happen next week. I think 2020 taught me that the most, and that life lesson only continues to blossom. I am not the person I thought I would be at 22, the people I’ve met, the jobs I’ve had, the places I’ve lived, and even how little I’ve traveled — none of it matches with how I have planned.

But yet, that is only the reminder: I cannot guarantee tomorrow. I do not know what it holds. My life is in the hands of Someone greater, who holds back the darkness for me, loving me tenderly in my mistakes and failings and only handing me grace.

I am glad I cannot guarantee tomorrow, that I do not know what will will bring. My plans have always been stale anyway, the real-deal so much brighter and fuller. I have learned because of this truth, to cherish those in my life, to hug them a little tighter, a little longer. I have learned to not let the little things that bother consume me, to let things go, to live and let live. I have learned that what you fail to forgive today, may be too late to forgive tomorrow.

I have learned that while I cannot guarantee tomorrow, I am living today and that alone should prompt me to love more fully, forgive more freely, and embrace life more openly.

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