At the end of my 8th grade year during finals, one of my teachers let us know that she was retiring. And with urgency since she no longer cared about keeping her job proceeded to declare to us that Jesus was coming and handed every single one of us a big packet of proof that the end of the world was near. Her estimated time-frame: September 11, 2002. Of course, being at a public school with very few Christians - people thought she had gone mad... and well... even as a Christian you would think so as well.
I may have been the only person who took it seriously as she so desperately tried to explain the events to take place. And with the world trade center attacks fresh in my mind, I could not help but give her a chance. So I studied that packet and came to the conclusion that my 8th grade brain could in no way fully comprehend everything it said. But I did know Jesus would come back one day. (darn Left Behind series was getting to my head)!
When September 11, 2002 came, I remember being a little more aware and alert, spending a little more time in prayer and reading (I was very skeptical yet a bit scared). And when the day passed, I was excited that I was still around. And I felt like a fool for even believing a tiny inkling of what my teacher had said. I bet she felt much stupider than I did! My friends and I laughed as we recalled that what our teacher had warned us about had not come to pass. We joked about finding her and calling her to mock her prediction that never came to be. I was too ashamed to let them know that I had been slightly fooled into thinking it just might happen.
This past Sunday, Pastor Tavi asked what we would do if we knew Jesus was coming back in 24 hours. What would our last actions be?! What would your last actions be?!
Thinking upon my 8th grade experience and realizing that I never evangelized that day, my thoughts were... hmmm... I would evangelize! To my family and to my friends! I would read and pray much more. I would preach wherever I could preach! And I would eat another Ruth Chris' Cowboy Ribeye Steak.... But regardless of that steak thought, there was much urgency to do as much as I could for the kingdom before Christ came back in 24 hours.
When Martin Luther was asked this same question, he answered, "I would plant a tree and pay my taxes." Meaning this - I would live my last 24 hours exactly as if I'd live any other day - normally!
The fact is, Jesus IS coming back and we'll never know exactly when... we just know that He is. So why wait till the last 24 hours? If I love God and truly believe, then any last 24 hour time-frame in my life should reflect and give glory to God. An everyday for God's kingdom and glory! attitude should be normal. The gospel IS urgent no matter how much time is left! So here's to "planting trees" and "paying taxes" till He returns or calls me home.