Have you forgotten?
The family took a little vacation last weekend, six of us all together. Getting ready for such an event is always a little nerve-racking. I generally worry my brain senseless, getting the vehicle ready, trying to not forget something important to bring, and trying to prepare for every scenario under the sun, or in this case, rain. The first 50 miles of traveling is always spent in review, hoping I haven’t forgotten anything. After that, it’s too late to do anything about it anyway, because turning back just isn’t an option of embarrassment. As usual, I overextended my imagination and found myself ready for Armageddon. Though the weather looked to be threatening every day leading up to and throughout the weekend, our excursion wasn’t dampened, and fun was had by all. Have you ever gotten so busy you forgot what you’re doing? If you’re old enough, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, here’s a story to explain what I’m talking about.
It seems a man had finished his meeting at the church building and was desperately giving himself a TSA patdown looking for his car keys. He soon discovered they were not in his pockets. He returned to the meeting room for a quick search, which revealed nothing. Then he concluded he must have left them in the car. In a frantic panic he headed for the parking lot. On the way, he recalled all the times his wife had warned him about the consequences of leaving the keys in the ignition, even though his theory was the ignition was the best place not to lose them. As he burst through the doors of the church building, he came to the realization that her theory of the car being stolen was more correct. The parking lot was empty. He immediately called the police, gave them his location, confessed that he had left the keys in the ignition, and the car had been stolen. Then he made the most difficult phone call of his life. “Honey,” he stammered. He always called her “honey” in times like these. “I left my keys in the car and it’s been stolen.” There was a period of silence, long enough he thought the call had been dropped. Then he heard his wife’s voice. “Ken,” she barked, “I dropped you off for your meeting!” Silence again. Embarrassed, he asked, “Well, can you come and get me?” Silence yet again; then she retorted, “Yes, I will. Just as soon as I convince this fine young police officer I haven’t stolen your car!” Doh!
[2 Peter 3] Everything that has a beginning will eventually come to an end. Every living thing has an appointment with death, even every man, “... is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment ...” (Hebrews 9:27). Birds build their nests and rear their young, and so far as is known, no bird ever tried to out-build or build more nests than its neighbor; no fox ever fretted because it had only one den; no squirrel ever died of anxiety because he had not laid up enough nuts for two or three winters ahead; and I doubt any dog ever lost sleep because he didn’t think he had a sufficient amount of bones buried in the back yard for his declining years.
Don’t get me wrong here. Everyone must continually prepare and think ahead as to our long-term needs of life while we journey on our road to forever upon this earth. But, I also see, and we have been warned not to do, people who are so wrapped in the world that they have forgotten that God has dropped us off here for only a short while and one day he’s coming back to pick us up. Will you be found as a goat of the world or a sheep of the shepherd (Matthew 25:31-ff)? Are you forfeiting your soul to gain the world (Mark 8:36)?
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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