Imagine going to your doctor for your annual medical checkup. While he checks your blood pressure, takes an EKG [ECG in some countries], and extracts some blood, the doctor may ask how you feel. You explain that you’re just a little tired, but other than that, you feel well.
After all the testing is done and the results are in, your doctor calls you back to the office. As you enter the examination room, it’s obvious that the doctor is uncomfortable, and you ask what the problem is. The doctor looks at you and says, “I’m sorry, you have a heart condition. There’s nothing I can do. I don’t know how long you have to live.”
Can you even imagine what would be running through your mind at this time? Can you imagine the changes that you would try to make in your life to try and prolong the time you have left on this Earth? Almost overnight, you would probably change your diet, exercise more, and look at your entire lifestyle.
No, this wasn’t about me going to the doctor and finding out about my heart condition. I was trying to prepare an illustration for one of my seminar talks, and asked my wife, Masami, to see what she thought. It was the evening of June 21.
A number of Bible verses came to mind to illustrate how important it is that we make each day count for what is truly important. For example, James 4:14 says that: “Whereas you know not what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is just a vapour that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.”
As I concluded the sermon outline, I came up with my final comments: “I’m sorry, friends, but you have a heart condition. That condition is called "sin." There’s nothing that I can do about it, but the great news is that there is Someone who can! His name is Jesus Christ!
“He loved the world so much that while we were yet sinners, He came and died on a cross so that we could spend eternity with Him. Now, I don’t know how long you have on this Earth. But God does know, and wants you to be obedient to Him no matter how many days, weeks, or hours it is. Make the decision to receive and serve Christ today!”
Well, the very next morning, June 22nd, I went to work as usual. I am an air traffic controller at Chicago’s busy O’Hare Airport. The sermon I was developing was still fresh in my mind, and I was trying to come up with real-life illustrations to make the sermon more relevant.
Working as an air traffic controller is not necessarily the easiest of occupations. There are not very many Christians in what can be a highly stressful environment. The language can sometimes be very offensive. This position certainly can be a challenge for someone who is trying to serve God.
At my job, though, there are a few who are open Christians. Roger was one of them. As a matter of fact, he was my best friend at work. He always had a smile on his face and did whatever was necessary to get the job done in a professional manner.
Roger was also one of the only people who cared about what was going on with me in the AiG ministry. He also volunteered in his church, and when he discovered that people in the church didn’t agree with a literal Genesis, he had me visit and speak with some of the youth there. The response was wonderful, and Roger was very encouraged. The number of teens in his church who came up to me and wanted more information encouraged me to continue sharing the truths of the Bible from the very first verse.
At work, Roger would “set people up” with statements like, “Come on, Carl, everyone KNOWS dinosaurs lived millions of years ago!” He would then step back and watch the ensuing discussion!
As I signed in on that Friday morning, I read a small note above the sign-in log. It said that my good friend Roger had passed away the night before. He was only 38! He leaves a wonderful wife, a 12-year-old son, and an 8-year-old daughter. (Please join us in prayer for the family). I’m thankful, though, that he left a legacy for his family and his colleagues by living for Christ.
Roger was someone who used his life to witness for Christ in so many ways. He had challenged me to live my faith in the workplace, and encouraged me to let the light show in what can be a very dark environment. May I—in Roger’s memory—challenge you to do the same?
Roger had his own “heart condition” and died of a heart attack. All of us, too, have a “heart condition’—it’s called sin. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can put off the most important decision of your life another minute—receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior from your sins!
P.S. To discover more about the Gospel, click here.