Monday, November 8, 2010

Late

She was humming as she walked across the room wrapping a towel around her damp hair.
 

"Good morning honey." She said softly to her sleeping husband. He had been up late studying and praying. He told her he had a lot of catching up to do with God.
 

Eyeing the clock by the bed she blurted out "Oh my, it's 8:30." She had been reading her bible and praying, too. Only she had gotten out of bed early…real early, while it was still dark – and time had just gotten away.
 
With a groan and a roll he was out of bed.
 

As he stood shaving, still a bit sleep-fuzzy, the only words he heard from his wife replayed in his head; "Oh my, it's 8:30" – Why couldn't she at least say good morning? Why did she just have to blurt it out like the house was on fire? How rude.

He closed his eyes and shook his head with a quick shake and wondered; where did that come from? He continued to shave… Look at the clock on your phone. He started to grab his phone but then the thought, No, don't…she just told you the time. Rudely.

 
He drew a deep breath, felt a bit anxious and thought he'd better hurry.
 

Getting ready for church was new for them. Well, new in a way. They used to go, years ago, but life got busy and church, got crowded out. But now they were back. And this time it was for good.

Five weeks ago they went to church at the request of a neighbor. They raised their hands and walked to the altar – the last time they were at an altar it was their wedding day. They asked Jesus to come into their hearts, and meant it. They really wanted to live for Him. So now, for the fifth Sunday in a row – they were getting ready for church.
 

She turned on the blow dryer and…He should have been up already. Now we're going to be late. Hurry. She sighed… I was in such a good mood, what happened.
 

He finished shaving and wiped his face. I never oversleep. Why didn't she wake me earlier? She knew I was up late praying and reading. Now we're going to be late – hurry.  

He stared at a frustrated man in the mirror. What are you looking at? Hurry.
 

They finished doing what folks do to get ready for church, but quicker since they were running late. And they were out the door.
 

"Well, we're late again." Not hiding her aggravation.
 

He sucked in a quick breath and tried to think of a comeback – but the only thought he had was; check the time on your phone, he started the truck.
 

The truck came to life and the digital clock on the dashboard revealed 9:07 a.m. He slowly exhaled and exited the driveway.
 

Why does she always do this? Who cares if we're a little late anyway? It's nobody's fault – we just didn't get going in time. But she blames me. She won't say it but she does. I know she does. Maybe we should just stay home.
 

"What time does church start anyway?"
 

"9:00 – like always."
 

Like always…grrr… she can be so…so…eyyye… "Well it's only a little after nine – we should get there around 9:20. They'll still be doing praise and worship. We won't miss much."
 

She was looking down at her phone thinking, actually, I don't even feel like going. We won't find a good place to sit; we'll disturb everyone…. She stared at her phone as if the answer was in her hand. She wondered if she should call someone, anyone, but who?
 

They drove in silence.
 

"What the…Where's..."
 

He never finished the sentence but she knew his thoughts.
 

"My – oh my, oh my."
 

She didn't have to say why she said it – he knew.
 

They eased into the parking lot and pulled into their favorite spot – no one had taken it.
 

They stared in disbelief as a lone tumble weed tumbled across the gravel. Drop-jawed they watched as dust devils spun in tornado like fashion.
 

Fang-jawed the devil watched as he spun his web in tornado like fashion. Accusation and fear gripped their hearts.
 

Finally, he whispered the word they were thinking – but neither had courage to speak… "Rapture."

She gasped as if the word spooked her. And actually, it did. For a moment time stood still. She realized she was holding her breath and exhaled a painful "Ohhhh nooo…please no…I thought we were ready."

"So did I." Suddenly he slammed his fist against the steering wheel. The horn honked and he didn't care. "I was – until you woke me up so rudely this morning – you got me all…out of whack. This is your fault."
 

"My fault! Rude? What! You have no idea what you're talking about? I was NOT rude. You should learn how to get up on time."
 

The accusations flew. The devil laughed. But he was cut short.
 

Tap-tap-tap interrupted their discussion. The Pastor stood with a smile on his face and a concerned look in his eyes.
 

He jumped out of the truck and almost, well no, he did yell at the preacher - "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" It was an accusation and a question all at once.
 

"Um, well - you know. I'm the Pastor. It's Sunday. What's wrong?"
 

"We're late. We're too late. We've missed it."
 

"No – it's not too late…"
 

"News flash preacher – nobody's here. Ever heard of something called the rapture? You know all the Christians get taken to heaven, in the twinkling of an eye. You should know this stuff."
 

He snapped his fingers and swept his arm in a large arc over the empty parking lot.
 

"Rapture?" The preacher looked at the empty lot and watched dust swirl into the air. "Oh… I see." He looked at the ground and then at the sky and then directly into the man's eyes. "It's not too late, you know."
 

"Yeah right, and why not?"
 

"Well, for a couple of reasons. But for starters…" Then he spoke words that sounded strangely familiar: "Check the time on your phone."
 

She snatched open the phone still clutched in her hand and checked the time. 8:20 a.m. Relief and confusion crossed her face.
 

With as much love and understanding as he could muster the Preacher spoke: "Ever heard of something called… Day Light Saving Time?"


Dear Lord thank You for being our Day Light Saving Time. You give us each day our daily bread. You bring us light. You are The Light. You are our saving Savior. You deliver us from the accuser. You are never late. You are all time at once; the beginning and the end. Amen.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This thing Christendom calls "The Rapture" seems to pique the interest of everyone.


Some common questions that come up on the subject are:

  • What is the rapture and is the word even in the Bible?
  • What if I slip up a split second before it happens– am I toast?
  • I don't believe in that stuff – so why should I even care?
  • Can I know for sure if I'm ready?
  • When will it happen?
  • Who goes? Who stays? What about kids?
  • What if I miss it?

4 comments:

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Doug, This sort of thing actually happened to us about 10 years ago, during a time when we weren't attending church regularly. Now, we didn't suspect the rapture, but when we showed up an hour early to church and no one was there, we realized then that it was Daylight Savings Time!

Good story, brother.

Doug Spurling said...

Thanks Jennifer - it's nice to have the blessed assurance Jesus is mine - so the fear-of-not-knowing-if-I-missed-it can't come near.

This story was prompted Sunday morning as we headed to Church. We weren't late and didn't think we were - but when my wife called our friends to let them know we were on our way - they said; "Why are you leaving so early?" An hour early...yeah. We didn't look at our phone clocks (which changed with Day Light Saving Time) and, of course, we had plumb forgot about it.

At that moment as I turned the truck around the idea hit me.

Thanks for your comments and for continuing to "get down with Jesus" so awesomely on you blog!

mari mayborn said...

Wow, Doug, you capture how we easily we get out of step with God, and sashay--okay, more like trudge--our way through Sunday mornings, giving the devil much delight as we fail to live in love and grace with the ones God gave us to love.

Great ending--I had a rapture Sunday once many years ago. I got to listen to the praise band practice...so while I didn't get to meet Him in the sky, I was rewarded with a double-dose of praise time!

Doug Spurling said...

Mari,

Thanks for your comment. Yeah, it seems too easy to get out of step. We fall short - and get short with one another. The worst part is when folks that aren't yet Christians see our short comings and walk away calling; "Those Christians a bunch of hypocrites" However that's the best part too. If we use our weakness to humbly show the great grace of God and His redemptive work for a sinner such as I.

(That's kind of what the link to the "Rapture" blog is about.)

That's a great "rapture Sunday" practice for the real deal and more than a double-dose of praise time!