By Roger Alford
Bubba was doing well in his job interview until the human resources manager, wanting to learn something of his personality, asked an off-the-wall question.
“If you could have a conversation with someone, living or dead, who would it be?”
Bubba responded without hesitation: “The living one, of course.”
As I think back over history, there are so many people who would have been fascinating to talk with. Great men and women of renown, like frontiersmen Daniel Boone or Davy Crocket, political figures like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, literary giants like Mark Twain or C.S. Lewis.
The fact is, every born-again believer will spend eternity in heaven, which will provide ample time and opportunity to visit with others.
First and foremost, we’ll get to see Jesus. “He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).”
I also love the thought that we’ll also be able to talk to people like Daniel, and hear about his night in the lions’ den, or David and the day he faced down the giant Goliath, or Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. Oh, the stories they’ll have to tell. There will be so many people with so many varied tales to tell.
I hope you’ll have a great story to tell about your life, about how you stepped out on faith and did great things for God. Wouldn’t it be a shame to have nothing more to share than that you lived life safely, driving to work and back each day, sitting on your sofa each evening, watching TV, mowing your lawn each week, and that, for excitement, you drove to Walmart on weekends to stock up on groceries?
It’s never too late to liven up your story.
You may recall the story of Alfred Nobel, who read his own obituary in the spring of 1888. The newspapers had made a mistake in reporting his death. Nobel was very much alive. And he wasn’t very happy with the account of his life.
You see, Nobel was the inventor of dynamite, and the newspapers reflected what the world knew of him, that he had made it possible to quickly kill large numbers of people. He had changed the nature of war by inventing the powerful explosive. The newspapers called him “the merchant of death.”
Nobel was horrified by how the world viewed him, and he decide to change his life story. He committed his financial fortune to establishing the Nobel Peace Prize, given to people who had done the most for the cause of world peace.
All these years later, perhaps no one would recall that Nobel was the man who invented dynamite, but everyone associates the name Nobel with the award that honors the world’s top peace-makers.
Like Nobel, perhaps we all need to do some things to enhance our stories, to get out of our comfort zones and do more for the cause of Christ.
I’d hope that, if Bubba is ever asked again who he’d choose to talk to, he’d choose you.
Roger Alford of Owenton, Kentucky, offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.