Swinging his bag over the seat, the familiar excitement rose up within him. The thunderous roar of the motor fired him up. He loved it. “Live for the Moment” were his words. He defied anything that tied him down. He weaved in and out of his relationships just like he drove — with no limits and no fear. His “free spirit” made him live on the edge. That bright, clear day seemed like any other. Little did he know what was ahead of him. None of us does.
He leaned into the corner. He liked to almost touch the road. He liked the curves, and he liked to take them fast. Here’s another one, and another, and OH NO!
His last boundary had just been broken. There was no time to get back across the line. The scraping of the machine skidding down the road seemed to have no end, then silence. Nothing. It was all over. His friends caught up with him as the two old ladies got out of their car, stunned but unhurt. Everyone gathered around the twisted and broken man, like a puppet thrown to the floor after a child was tired of it. The pretty spring day was singing of life no more. His friends stood around him, cursing, crying, afraid. The unspoken question chilled the air, “Where did he go? What was his eternal destiny?” They didn’t know.
“Live for the moment” — but then what? The moments of pleasure turn into an endless eternity of, what? All you’re left with is you and your conscience, the boundaries you went over, the relationships you damaged, the lies you told. “Live for the Moment,” but that is little comfort for him now as he faces his eternal destiny.
Some of his friends said his fate came upon him. They were really blaming God for what happened to him. But if you come to a stop sign and you don’t stop, is it the stop sign’s fault? So whose fault was it that he was going so fast? Whose hand was on that throttle, going too fast? It was his choice. He went into the other lane. He went over the boundaries. Was it the boundary’s fault? Those boundaries were there for his protection, for the safety of everyone who comes down that road. It is poisonous to blame God for the choices we make.
Harry is enjoying the intimate dinner party at the house of his friend, Dr. Smith. The phone rings. Dr. Smith returns to the table and is asked whether he has to rush to the hospital. He is a popular “baby doctor.” He replies, “No, not right away. Mrs. Jones has gone into labor, but she’ll be having a C-section. Besides,” he adds with a knowing laugh, “I get paid more after 11.”
How great is the guilt of those who take advantage of the deep fears of people for their own profit? Who push drugs legally and get a kickback from every expensive test they order?
Jill needed a juicer and a blender. Since she didn’t have a lot of money she went looking for them at the flea market. She found a nice looking, middle-aged man with a blender. It was only $5. Doubting, she asked him whether it worked. “Quite well,” he replied quickly. Jill was happy to have gotten such a good price on such a good blender. Another man had a juicer for $25, but she didn’t have that much. Could he please sell it to her for $20? Reluctantly, he said yes, but said he could take no less because it was a very nice one. Jill wanted to know for sure whether it worked. The look on the old man’s face changed quickly, and he looked intently at the young woman before him, “I would surely not sell my soul for $20!” His words were both kind and stern. Suddenly Jill sensed this man had never sold his soul. She found herself respecting him very much. When she got home she found the $5 blender didn’t work. The blender had been a bad deal, but she had never had such a good juicer!
Did the one man “sell his soul” for a few dollars? Some people think you have to be rich to have a greedy heart. The other man honored the law in his conscience. It is a very wise saying, “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.” Won’t it be the greatest justice for the man who honors God in this life to be honored by Him in the next? No wise person thinks this life is all there is; only the fools who don’t think God sees...
Some think their own needs are first place, even above the best interests of others, even above the truth they know in their own heart...
Marie wasn’t the first woman John had lived with, but somehow things were different with her. His heart wasn’t in it. In fact, it was far away from her. She sensed it too, but there was one thing that held them together — the loneliness they feared so much. This time the guilt he had always felt was beginning to be too much to bear. How he wanted to be honest with her and admit the painful truth that love had very little to do with their relationship. It wasn’t real and wouldn’t last, but he couldn’t face the loneliness he feared. He didn’t think either of them even knew what love was anymore. Maybe they never had.
When a man and woman come together in physical intimacy, it is the most profound statement by the two, that “My life is yours; just as I give my body to you, so I give my whole being and all my love to you.” But it wasn’t that way for John and Marie. Instead, every day they had to pretend they had something they didn’t. They didn’t know from one day to the next whether they were lonely or loved. Love makes commitments and they had never really loved anyone except themselves. That’s why their lives were filled with guilt. So many of us are just like them, aren’t we?
Lacy had everything — good job, good health, nice house, nice car. She had friends who were sensitive people like herself. Everyone thought she was happy, but there was an empty feeling deep inside. When she looked in the mirror in the morning it was all she could do to put a smile on her face. She always looked together by the time she got to work. Nobody knew how she really was. So she tried different things, like soft drugs and good wines. They gently dulled the pain and made her more open to beginning new relationships. Try as she might to be independent and not need anyone, she was driven by her need to be loved and appreciated.
She started to feel worse in the mornings. “It couldn’t be, it just couldn’t be,” she repeated to herself over and over again on the way to the doctor’s office. But it was. A child was growing in her womb. She was face to face with her worst fears — the consequences of her choices. That didn’t happen to people like her! What was she going to do?
She made another choice. How could she bring a child into this sick world? She thought of all the reasons why she shouldn’t. Many mornings now she didn’t even look in the mirror. She didn’t want to face the fact she was going to end a life because she didn’t want to be tied down with a child or a relationship. She didn’t want to make any commitments. So she took the power of life and death into her own hands.
Lacy has never been the same since. She and her boyfriend drifted apart. Something stood between them that they couldn’t face — the death of an innocent child.
There is in each of us an instinctive, natural desire to have children. This is how we got here, after all. But everyone knows that sexual intercourse is only meant for men and women who are married to one another. That is, they know it until they are ready to push beyond their conscience. Once past, they can do other things they never did before, like terminating a life.
This is why our God gave us a conscience — so we could choose what was right and avoid what was wrong. It is His covenant with all men and women: if they would obey the knowledge of the truth He gave them, then one day He would reward them with the second life. More and more people today are ignoring their conscience in their sexual relationships, in their business dealings, and in many other ways they gain at the expense of others. All who do so have to suppress the voice that tells them how they should act. They have to ignore the instinctive knowledge that there is another life after this one. This life is the proving ground, for eternity, setting our character for how we will be unjust still, filthy still, or righteous still.
The man on the motorcycle is now awaiting the judgment of all men. His thoughts are not excusing him in death, are they? The laughing doctor is continuing to make a lot of money as a “healer,” a well-respected member of society. One day the inner thoughts of his heart will be judged. If he continues in the way Harry heard him that night, one day his horror at his fate will be indescribable.
The old man at the flea market has continued to be honest, and the younger man has continued to be dishonest in his petty little ways.
John and Marie did not continue in the way they were going. They both heard the good news that Yahshua died for their sins. So, they made the change, from the kind of person they had become, the filthy, to what they really wanted to be, the holy. You see, when John saw a pure life he could be a part of, he had hope. He ended his immoral relationship with Marie and repented of his sins. Later on, Lacy did the same. People loved each of them enough to tell them the truth. They were needy and honest enough to admit it. They gave their whole lives to Him in the people He is gathering on the earth today. They now obey His word. That is what it means to be one of the holy.