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  • Writer's pictureNeal Hagberg

What Do You Do When There is No Tomorrow?

TLC Blog – What Do You Do When There is No Tomorrow?

That day in college, I was at the pool for one reason and one reason only.  To impress a sophomore.  Make her notice me.  So she would then go out with me.  I had my dive planned perfectly.  Push off the springboard with power and grace.  Fluidly arc through the air, turning as smooth as a gymnast until my front dive became a back dive.  Enter the water flawlessly.  Come up for air to see the beaming look on her face.  Start dating.  Get married.  Live happily ever after.

But this is what happened.  Pushed off the springboard clumsily with mediocre power.  Turned in the air as smooth as the football player I was.  Entered the water awkwardly.  Plunged faster than I wanted to the bottom of the tiny 8 foot deep college pool where the bottom quickly slanted up much too soon for any modern safety standard.  Hit the slope face first and felt my neck snap back.  And for a moment wondered if I would be paralyzed or drown.  I didn’t dare move my limbs for fear they wouldn’t.  When I finally tried, I found out everything worked.  I was unbelievably lucky.

Then I felt the space where half of my front tooth used to be.  And was thankful that was it.

I rose out of the water, gasping for air, but still aware of the sophomore co-ed who was watching.  Collecting myself, I smiled a half tooth grin.  She was not impressed.

She never did date me.

But I realized how lucky I was to be alive, not paralyzed.  It could have/maybe should have been otherwise.  And I was aware the only difference between me and others who do not survive is plain dumb luck.

What was tomorrow was almost not there.

But this reality holds true daily for all of us every single day: There is no tomorrow. For any of us. It is not there. COVID taught the whole world at once that all our “tomorrow plans” are, to quote a Kansas song from my distant youth, “dust in the wind”. When I told this story at our most recent family camp, I asked the question rhetorically, “So what do we do then, if there is no tomorrow?” And before I could answer my own question, a six year-old camper, sitting on his dad’s lap, piped up, “Sing songs?” That’s a six year old mic drop. I can think of no better answer. IMG_7538

(Click here for Video of TLC Tourney Campers singing at our final program) We are all often diving into the unknown. Thinking we know our plans. And when we focus on tomorrow, that focus assumes we have control. But tomorrow is never secure. Which we all just found out collectively in the pandemic. Only love is. I saw it in the dad for his six year old. I saw it in the faces of all the other families that morning who know, in a more powerful way than before the pandemic, how precious and fleeting life is. And I see it in the face of every person here at camp. There is no tomorrow. There never was. When we get our mind and hearts around that, how lucky are we to be able to act on that knowledge? We are so grateful to be back with camps this summer, knowing powerfully that nothing is guaranteed. So, what do we do with that knowledge? Love each other. Work for a better world. Open our hearts to unlearning things that have made us put up walls between each other. And, perhaps most importantly, according to one six year old, sing songs.

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