A man came to me and asked me a very probing question, “Would you give up everything for an hour with Jesus, all your possessions, friends, family, hopes and dreams, and at the end your life?” Pondering deeply, almost without thinking, for thoughts were distracting to my current feelings, I considered deep in my soul both the pro’s and cons. Ashamed I was to not immediately have answered “Yes!”, but I have many idols to give up for Jesus, and considering their loss always gives me pause. Croaking, I tried to speak, but the wheeze swallowed my first words, so I tried again after a large gulp.
“Sir, would you be patient with me and grant me one request, that I might see a man at the end of his time with Jesus?”, I carefully stuttered now in trembling fear for offending the God whose servant this surely was. An eternity separated my shameful question and his accommodating reply. Slowly, or so it seemed, we strolled to the end of one man’s walk with Jesus and just before he died I looked at his face. No earthly comedian could engender such a smile, and no sun could shine so brightly as to mire his countenance nor contentment. Surely, this was a man about to die, and yet he couldn’t be more happy, content, joyful, and ready to meet God and any loss he might have suffered to be with Jesus didn’t seem to play any part in his final demeanor.
Turning to my host, I exclaimed, “So shall I go also to Jesus, so long dear idols, robbers of joy and containers of worthlessness, be gone and give me Shalom!”. I then awoke, sweating, still living, and now what am I going to do?