Published May 22, 2012

Shelia Shares....
"Planning Ahead"

What a busy weekend we had. Paul and I traveled to Virginia to celebrate the 40th anniversary of WBTX radio on Friday evening. (Our program, "The Gospel Greats," has been on there since 1980.) Plans for Saturday included stopping at a Gospel concert for an interview and a visit to a brand new radio station on their very first day of broadcasting.

Before we started on our trip, I did some planning. I worked ahead at the office on some projects. I considered the clothing I would need in light of the weather and our planned activities. I did some Mapquest searches.

Recently my family eye doctor referred me to a retina specialist resulting in surgery scheduled for June 22. (I'll tell you more about that later.) After surgery, I'll be lying or sitting face down for the first two weeks and off work for at least four weeks. I'm doing some planning for the surgery and recovery. I needed to sign the surgery release papers. I made plans to have some friends with me during those first two weeks. I am checking insurance and rental of equipment. I've read all the info about the problem and about the surgery. I'm training others to handle my work while I'm out of the office.

Planning like that is important. But I could be in an accident today and my life on earth would end. I could have a heart attack and die. Have I made the spiritual plans I need to make for the journey at the end of life?

Even if I don't die tomorrow, Jesus has promised to return soon. I Thessalonians 4:16, 17 talks about the coming of the Lord. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." I Corinthians 15: 52 speaks of the same event, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

Today, have I read the guidebook – the Bible? Have I talked to the trip "planner" – through prayer? I won't be packing clothes or supplies, but because I've accepted the gift of Christ's forgiveness, I have a robe and crown waiting for me. Have I shared Jesus with the people who need to be prepared for this same trip?

The time to think about our weekend trip was not when we were on the road to Virginia. The time to think about my forthcoming surgery is not when I enter the operating room on the day of the surgery. When I die or Jesus returns is not the time to think about my journey from this earth. In fact, the "twinkling of an eye" won't give me a lot of time to plan my final journey. Plans need to be made ahead of the event.

I expected a great weekend. I expect a successful surgery. I KNOW I am scheduled for heaven whether through death or Christ's return. Make your plans now.

- Shelia

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