For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
These are the questions that torment my wife only when we’re pretty well past the point of no return on a trip:
- Are all of the stove burners off?
- Are the timers set for the lights?
- Did we remember to plug them IN to the timers?
- Is the thermostat turned up/down to save dollars on the utilities?
- And my personal favorite – Is the garage door down?
She’s just a little compulsive about, oh, a lot of things. I couldn’t tell you how many times she’s been late to work for the number of times she had to go around the block to be sure she really did put the garage door down.
I once waited till we were almost asleep to whisper, “Did the dome light in the car go off?” and then held her down, not letting her go out and check.
I still say I was just doing a little therapy to help her get over this thing. She maintains I’m just a sadistic jerk. I was going to put in a voting button, but I’m not sure of the men to women ratio in my readership, so I’m playing it safe.
If you can in any way identify with her “Wait a minute!” compulsions, then have I got a contemplation for you!
Imagine lying on your death bed, family gathered ‘round, pastor or priest in attendance, and someone humming “Nearer My God to Thee.” You feel yourself starting to slip away, and that proverbial light starts to shine behind the unmistakable outline of Jesus. A peaceful smile starts to cross your features.
Suddenly you bolt upright, eyes popping out of your head, as you scream “Wait a minute!”
Let’s see what might make your almost peaceful departure hit some turbulence. Well, there’s…
- …that raggedy, hungry-looking guy at McDonald’s you thought about buying breakfast for but didn’t.
- …your best friend you never tried to really tell about Jesus, because you were sure you’d just ruin the friendship.
- …telling your pastor you didn’t want to say yes to helping teach a bible class, because (your lie) vs. (your real reason).
- …not giving an extra offering off that bonus, because you only pledged $X.00 per week.
- …ignoring a new face at church, because you didn’t want to embarrass yourself, if they were just from the other service.
- …gossiping. About anyone. Anywhere. Any time.
That’s a list that can go on ad nauseum. Imagine those bullet points flying across your sight as you slip away, and you backpedaling like a dog who sees the flea dip tub.
“WAIT A MINUTE! I’M NOT DONE!!”
And that would be whose fault?
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
Jesus made no secret that His mercy is to beget our mercy. His true followers would pass along His good deeds to witness to the love of God to them and the world. Good deeds have even been prepared in advance for us to do!
Thing is, I’ve already missed a boatload of opportunities. I’ll miss more. I’m riddled with sin, and echo David in the psalm, I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Psalm 73:22
The Gospel? If indeed we do see those mistakes parade before us in our last seconds on earth, if indeed we do struggle to stay for guilt and fear, trying to ask for one more minute, I think Jesus will spread his forgiving arms, spread that loving smile, maybe even chuckle, and say, “Come on home. You believed in Me and showed it by your life. Anything else, well, My child, I had your back the whole time. Come see the mansion I prepared for you.”
At that point, who wants to wait a minute?