There's an old episode of Wings
with one of the brothers, Brian, talking a minster who was a passenger on his plane. Brian then runs over to Joe and says he's figured out the whole loophole to getting into heaven--just ask for forgiveness on your death bed.
Basically, it's the whole sin now, repent at your leisure mentality.
But the loophole to that loophole is that you may never know when your call comes.
I got a voice mail last night from a good friend, who asked me to give him a call. It sounded kind of serious, esp. the part about call as soon as you can, whatever time it is. I started having horrible visions of all kinds of disasters that could befall he and his family. It wasn't helped by the fact that I got voice mail. My mind is a very scary place.
I eventually did get to speak to my friend and found out the bad news. A friend of ours had passed away suddenly yesterday. No details, no information beyond the fact that she was no longer with us.
It was a shock. Ellen, the woman who died, was older than I am, but I saw her not more than a month ago when I went to Knoxville to the UT game. She was in good spirits and even teasing me that I needed to move back to Knoxville to re-assume my old place in the bell choir.
And now, she's gone.
It just underscored how amazingly fragile life is. And how we shouldn't always be so quick to take advantage of putting off until tomorrow what we could do today. Because sometimes in life, there isn't that deathbed to ask for forgivness, to tell your family you love them, to make a difference in someone's life.
I don't think I'm saying anything most of us don't already know. But I hope I am reminding everyone of what a gift every day we have on this mortal coil is.
And I also want to ask for prayers for Ellen's husband Lee and the rest of her family during this time of sorrow and loss.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/26/2006 10:18:00 AM