2008-01-31 - A Chicken Sandwich Lesson
Phil 1:3-6 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (NASB)
I had a rather different experience this week. It's unusual for food to provide and object lesson, but bear with me.
I was eating lunch with one of my co-workers who is also a good friend of mine. I was down to the last truly small bite of my chicken sandwich. We were in no rush at all and talking back and forth. I popped that last bite in and apparently didn't chew quite well enough - and swallowed. That little piece of chicken became lodged in my throat to where I could breath with some effort, and between the hiccups, but could not swallow liquids to help wash it down. It was uncomfortable for the first ten minutes, and no matter how I stood, sat or leaned it made no difference. A few times it seemed to be starting to move, but the next hiccup brought it right back to the original position. It became painful and I started to get worried that it was going to get worse before it got better. After 20 minutes in the restroom, it finally released and finished the trip to my stomach. There was great relief and gratitude followed by prayers of thanks.
My friend had driven over to the restaurant - something else to be thankful for since it had left me a little stressed and tired. I had a few minutes to think about what had just transpired. I was not really in any serious danger at any time. But if that bit of food and slipped the wrong way during one on my hiccups (my hiccups are the stuff of legend) thinks could have gotten bad pretty quickly. The next logical thought went to the worst case scenario - what would happen to the people I care about if things had gone very badly and I had left this life. I thought about several situations between myself and others that are currently unresolved and still won't be for a while. Leaving that business unresolved would be difficult in some instances. What about things I have wanted to tell people? People who need to hear they are loved and needed. Friends who I haven't called for a while that more than deserve a phone call. People who need to know that Jesus loves them too. There are potential eternal implications there.
My best friend from high school died in the Air Force - during peacetime. My friend was a B-52 crew chief. He was assisting another crew chief with a problem on that person's plane when, unfueled and unarmed, the plane exploded on the ground and burned. All nine men aboard were killed instantly. My friend and I had lost touch and had just met again while he was on leave. We had promised to get together again in about six weeks. I wanted to tell he about the difference Jesus had made in my life, but there was no time . It would wait until his next leave - or so it seemed. The implications are terrifying for me.
The important things in life are rarely pressing and the pressing things in life are rarely important in the long-term. Take a minute and let your friends and loved ones know they are special. Clear up that disagreement with someone, even if it means agreeing to disagree and respect each other's opinion. Keep short accounts with those around you, or don't go to bed angry with someone if it can be in any way avoided. If someone is placed on your heart or mind seemingly out of nowhere, pray for them. Decide how important something is when placed in the scheme of eternity.
1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (KJV)
Grace & Peace,