Beliefnet
From "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow" by Robert H. Schuller. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

There is a quiet place in Hawaii where for over thirty years I've gone to draw inspiration and write many of my books. I am there now as I write these lines. Every morning I go out and take my morning exercise-a long, strong walk along the beach. And always, just ahead of me, I see this elderly, grayhaired, Japanese gentleman. He has obviously suffered a stroke. The right side of his body-arm and leg-is almost immobilized, but he can hold and use a cane in his right hand. His left hand swings forward and backward, up and down, to keep his balance. I see him coming slowly toward me. We meet, we exchange smiles. What a spirit shines through his determined face! He just will not, does not, give up and surrender his future to the challenge of a wounded body. I do not speak his language, but he understands English, and his face and eyes and cheeks all become one big beautiful smile when I stop and simply say, "Keep it up. God is blessing you." This has gone on for the past four years. He would have been defeated and probably dead long ago, but he has never thrown away his tomorrow.

Yes, there are many reasons why people throw away tomorrows. Some throw away tomorrow because of fear of failure. They just are afraid of taking risks. You have often heard me say, "If you're afraid of taking risks and you are not taking a risk, then you're not living this moment in the realm of faith." When you live by faith, you are running on the "risk track" because faith is what you need to move ahead when you can't be sure that it's going to work out the way you hoped and planned. Are you tempted to throw away tomorrow because of a fear of failure? Nothing causes more tomorrows to be thrown away than this fear.

Then, of course, there is the frustration of politics, which can cause you to throw away tomorrow's dreams. Anytime you get an idea, you need people to help you put it together. That is the beginning of an institution. When you create an institution, levels of authority and boundaries need to be established. If everybody owns it, nobody owns it. If everybody is responsible for it, nobody will be responsible. So great institutions require the establishment of power positions, and then politics enters. Politics can be very positive and helpful because it keeps an infrastructure in place, but if politics finds you voting on the wrong side, you can throw away tomorrow because you find there is too much debate and ego involved.

Why do people throw away tomorrow? For some it's because they find fulfillment. They win a prize. Maybe they win the lottery. Now they have enough, and they don't want to work anymore. They lose their vision. It's tempting. I have had more honors than I've deserved and more rewards than I expected. It can be tempting just to say, "Well, I'm going to retire." But what would I do then? Sit in a chair and watch TV? Don't let fulfillment throw away your tomorrow.

You've heard people say, "I've been there, done that." Be very careful of that sentence. It's a potentially explosive negative claim that can shoot a hole through many new dreams that God has for you. Yes, I still have dreams for the tomorrows that God gives me. You and I must see fulfillment as a broadening of the base of strength that will enable us to think in bigger dimensions than we have ever thought before!

Why do people throw away tomorrow? Of course, a shortfall of resources is a main reason. You don't have the money, and you can't see where it would come from. A lack of resources may slow you down, but don't let it make you throw away a big idea. Give God five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, twenty-five years, thirty years, forty years, or more. Give God all the time He needs to bring the resources to you! Give God time-and the people, the craftsmen, the skill, the new inventions, the money will come. Don't throw away tomorrow.

With God, there's always a tomorrow. Adam and Eve blew it, and God watched them walk out of the Garden in disgrace, losing their pride, their self-respect, their self-esteem. They walked out of the Garden humiliated and dishonored. And as God watched them, God planned a tomorrow!

Then there was the flood, but God, through Noah, planned a tomorrow. And God designed a rainbow, with His promise that if you are going through a flood, and if you don't throw away tomorrow, you are going to have some wonderful surprises that you couldn't have expected during the storm.

Believers around the world celebrate Easter. That's the tomorrow God planned for His people. We all need a vision of tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes we must grasp it. Saturate your mind with positive thinking. Negative thinking will produce what it promises-nothing. Positive thinking will produce something, and life will be better for others and for you! And something will always win over nothing.

Tomorrow, God will work wonders among you!

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