One Tamale Away From Eternity

Several years ago, when I was an irrigation engineer with the University of Missouri, I was invited to come and speak at a company meeting of the Gorman – Rupp Company in El Paso TX.  I had developed a tool to determine what kind of pump would be most suited to pump different kinds of liquids, and they wanted me to share it with them.  As I had never been there before, it was an adventure and I was looking forward to it.  It was a two day event, and for dinner in the evening, they took us to see the dog races in Mexico.  They served us wonderful food, including tamales and other Mexican dishes. 

Part way through dinner, we heard a great commotion a couple of tables away.  A fellow was choking on his food, perhaps a tamale, and he was not able to disengorge the food.  He was coughing violently, and his face became deep red as his movements became more desperate.

Fortunately for him, someone came up from behind him and performed the Heimlich maneuver, disengorging the food from his windpipe.  He gasped for air, and everyone in the area breathed a sigh of relief as the man sat back down.

In all likelihood, this man did not wake up in the morning with the realization that he was going to have a brush with death before the day is over.  He was close to meeting the Lord; he was one tamale away from eternity.  Unlike many people, he was given a second chance at life.

Each of us will have a last day on this earth.  Our time here will be complete, and it will be our turn to depart.  While our family and friends begin to mourn and make arrangements for our burial, I believe we will stand before the Lord – the sovereign, living God of the universe – to give an account of ourselves and our lives.

He won’t ask about our accomplishments (with which He will already be familiar).  He will ask on what basis should we be admitted into heaven.  Only if we know Jesus Christ, and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior will we be admitted into heaven.  We are all going to meet the Lord; the only question is how soon and on what terms.  We can meet Him now by repenting of our sins, and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, or we can meet the Lord when we have died, and face eternity in hades.  The Lord invites us to join Him, but He will not drag anyone into heaven who really doesn’t want to be there, who does not want to be with the Lord now and in eternity.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Finally, given the great challenges and profound changes our nation faces, spiritual preparation – getting right with God and seeking His guidance, His will, and His protection is imperative.  If we place our faith and hope in our finances and physical preparation, we will be disappointed, for we do not control what is happening to our nation and the world.  If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to do so.  Colonel Stephen M. Bauer calculated that the chance that 40 fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament were fulfilled by chance to be one chance in 1×10 to the 136th power.  (See his book “The Math of Christ”.)

Now is the time to draw close to the Lord, our refuge and strength.

Life is short.  God is great.  Walk with the Lord.

Mark Peterson