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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fence Sitting Today, Gone Tomorrow

        Sometimes it is easy to feel good about yourself.  Especially after you cleaned out the pantry and took all the stuff you did not want and all the outdated cans to the local Christian Warehouse.  Look at all the people you helped.  It does not matter that it is stuff you would not eat yourself.  You took the time to care.
      On your way home you pass the local biker's hangout.  You stopped there once and talked to them.  They are a real bunch of deadbeats and degenerates.  Their leader told you himself that they put a thing called a jumper in and got free electricity from the power company.  Of course the reason you stopped was not to ogle the bikes they road, but all the nearly naked honeys hanging out waxing and washing them for the bikers. Yes we live in a sick world with all those tattoos and body piercings they have there is no way they will be going to heaven.  You are very smug and confident.  At least you are not like them, you think as you put in the CD you burned off  your son's favorite Christian rock group CD.  What could that hurt. They are Christians and surely they want to share their music.
       As you head through town you do a few rolling, "California Stops" and stretch a couple yellow lights.  Then you head out on the highway.  Sure the speed limit is 55 but hey you are in a hurry to get home and     after all speed limits are man made laws.  They "give" you ten miles leeway so you only go 9 miles over the speed limit.  No risk there and you are not really breaking the law.
      Finally you get home and go into the house.  As you have some spare time you sit down and do the bills. The $1,000 a week you get just does not go as far as it used to.  You finish the bills and you have almost $200 dollars left so you make out a check to the church for your tithe of $20 and feel really good about your self.  After all, the Bible does not specify whether you are to give ten percent of the net or gross.  It did say 10 % of the increase.  Based on that the only increase is the $200.  So you feel pretty comfortable.
      All the bills done and a little time to kill till supper.  So you pour yourself a drink of bourbon and coke and sit down in your easy chair.  You pick up the remote and start surfing the channels.  Nothing really appeals to you, but hey what is this.  The Girls Beach Volley Ball Tournament.  This could be interesting. Sure they have hardly anything on but how bad can it be to watch it.  It is on national TV and it is after all a sporting event.
     Suddenly you get a tightness in your chest.  Pains run down your right arm and for some reason you do not seem to be able to move.  Your mind is saying pick up the phone but the message is not getting to your right hand.  Sensing something is wrong you reach across with your left hand and get the phone.  You try to remember the hospital number. A sharp pain shoots through your chest and maybe it would be better to call 911.  When the operator answers the phone all you can slur into the phone is a feeble help.  Things are starting to spin as you drop the phone.
    The thought crosses your mind is this the big one.  It definitely feels like it might be a heart attack. Then you start thinking of all the things you did not do.  Of those you are not going to get to say goodbye too.  Finally the question of heaven and hell crosses your mind.  You think back to your activities for the day.  You did not sin.  At least as far as the Bible is concerned.  Suddenly you feel a big pain, and you reconsider. Well maybe a little bad, but certainly not worthy of an eternity in hell.
     You start searching your mind for a Bible verse that might give you some peace in your situation, but none come to mind.   You glance toward where your Bible is at.  The dust on it is more like dirt.  You can not remember the last time you actually read it.  You start to panic a little as the lights get dimmer.  Suddenly you hear voices.  No not Angels, paramedics as they wheel a gurney up beside your chair and start taking vital signs. Then just as you start to fade from the scene you feel them start moving you to the gurney. Suddenly the lights go out.
     Sometime later you wake up with a doctor standing over you.  He tells you, "You had a close one Mr. Jones, but it looks like you will pull through okay.  You may need a little therapy, but that is minor.  It could have been really bad."  He leaves the room and you ponder everything that happened during the day. You are getting a second chance.  When you start thinking of your activities of the day you realize they were not very Christian like.  Suddenly your perspective is a little clearer.  Maybe you need to work on your walk with the Lord a little bit.  Time to examine your heart and reevaluate your walk with the Lord.
    The nurse comes in and turns on the TV in your room.  Suddenly the scene unfolds of a major disaster.  They keep showing it over and over.  Hundreds have died in an instant.  They did not get the second chance you are getting.  They did not get a chance to get their lives right with God.  Suddenly you feel a mixture of sadness and yet gladness.  Sad for what could have been, but glad you have a chance to fix the things that matter in life.  Suddenly that saying you always thought sounded so foolish, "What Would Jesus Do"  Takes on a new meaning
     The nurse put the TV remote in your good left hand and you start surfing the channels.  You come to the Girls Beach Volley Ball Tournament and it is still going on.  You stop surfing.  Watching this can not be all that bad.  The thought passes through your mind.  Maybe I need to plan to go to church Sunday.  With that commitment you put down the remote, climb back up on the fence and continue to watch the volleyball action.  You can work on all those big moral decisions when you get out of the hospital.  After all you have time.  You have been given a second chance.  Suddenly you have a big chest pain. You look at the monitor and the heart line is flat.  Things start to go dim and you see all the other lines getting flatter.  The lights go out.
    Brothers and sisters we are gathered here today in loving memory of our brother..........

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