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Yesterdays and new tomorrows

By Linda Beck

When I read the recent articles about the “New Tomorrows” classes at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, I was reminded of all the “new tomorrows” I have faced in my life. I don’t know anything about the classes except the article described activities like learning to cook, yoga, and Bible studies.
I began to think back on some of the “new tomorrows” I have experienced throughout my life. One reason I was so interested in the article about the neighborhood around Park Avenue was because I actually lived on Long Street until I was seven years old. Our duplex apartment was right behind the store at the intersection of Long Street and Park Avenue but long before the store was built.
It was a wonderful neighborhood with nice people all around. My first year and a half, my siblings and I walked to A.T. Allen School on the corner of Long Street and East Innes. On Saturday mornings we walked to the theater at the Square to watch cowboys and Indians. Then we would go spend the day playing in the yard and acting out what we had seen on the screen.
Evidently my mother thought we would be safe, and I don’t remember any kind of danger or trouble. She worked third shift at one of the mills, and during the day when she slept, a black lady named Creola tended to us.
One of the first new tomorrows I remember was in December 1954 when my mother remarried and we moved to the mill village in Yadkin. A lot of new tomorrows happened there, but that’s a whole different story.
My friend, “the other Linda,” and I were discussing this article and she reminded me of some different quotes about “tomorrow” and they read as follows:
• Tomorrow never really comes because when it gets here it is today.
• Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
• Yesterday is history; we can’t go back. Tomorrow is a mystery because only God knows His plan for our tomorrows. Today is a present from God, the gift of life; how we use it is a decision we make.
• Give yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s anxieties over to God.
I do believe our choices today can affect our tomorrows. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can affect our physical health, and poor health can definitely affect our mental health. Study of God’s word and the actions of Christians like those at Park Avenue Methodist Church can help us find brighter “new tomorrows” on dismal “present days.”
I’ve never been on street drugs, but for many years I was addicted to smoking cigarettes. My health problems have exposed me to many different prescription drugs and often changing prescriptions opened up more “new tomorrows,” some of which have been very challenging.
For many folks, at times, every day seems too much like the day before. Some people are bored with life and are seeking excitement in dangerous places. They may have jobs they don’t like, or in today’s world are unable to find a job at all. This can result in the destruction of many families who can no longer afford a place to live. I thank God every day for the roof over my head, my power and heat, water and available food.
Finding a job one likes can result in a great “new tomorrow.” Going back to school, finding a new romance, recovery from illness can all result in “new tomorrows.”
One of my favorite scriptures in the past 18 years has been Matthew 6:33-34, when Jesus talks about worry: “But ask first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
• • •
Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf.

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