Two plain wood tables each hosting a computer terminal and chair face one another. Blood had been spilt. Lives had been lost, and widows out number wives. An agreement had been reached after years of direct combat. The adversary’s were tasked to compose why they deserve to rule the kingdom. Game on.
In thirty minutes the best reasoned written hypothesis will be judged, and the winner take all contest for all times will be decided. The red light turns to green and they begin. Large screens above the contestants reveal their work. Line by line, paragraph for paragraph they match each other’s speed and thought. Careful word crafted reasoning streams across the grand overhead display faster then the onlooker’s comprehension. Seconds before the final moment the lights go out, the terminals go black, and the apprehensive audience holds their breath. The power returns and based on the writings a clear winner is evident. Jesus always saves.
Last week we attended a celebration of life gathering. Cirrhosis of the liver was the cause of death. The deceased man’s two adult sons hosted the remembrance at a Holiday Inn. It was good to view the video loop of our friend. We watched the time line progress from child hood, to young man, husband, and then father. Life as we know it now will someday change for all of us. It will happen. Breath in, breath out, breath in, and then the determining final exhale.
Fifteen years prior I sat in this man’s basement and we talked about the “Party on” life style. Our stories ranged from funny and hilarious, to sad, shame, and regret. The assurance of always being a child of God was also part of the requested visit. The question was asked, “Will God reject me?” “The gift of God is eternal life” (Rom. 6:23). How can eternal life be anything else but eternal? It cannot be lost, forfeited, or sinned away, for “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29). Eternal life once given is an everlasting gift.
Shame is the thing behind the thing that will hunt and search you out. Shame can keep you from experiencing joy. As children of God we are heirs to the kingdom. My friend received his inheritance.