The How of When

There is a rather large contingent in the Christian community who believe that the Rapture of the church is coming this month on May 21, 2011. My kids have been seeing the billboards about Judgment Day and are a little bit concerned about it.

This morning Jessica asked me, “If it comes mommy, what should I do?”

I am so happy to admit that I didn’t miss a beat and said,  “Just raise up your arms and say, ‘I love you Jesus.’  Don’t be afraid, honey.  Just chill out and I will meet you in heaven, okay?”  This made a lot of sense to her.

Then Zachary, who had been eavesdropping, looked at me quizzically. The banner ad above his head read, “Hey – I want to be in on that!”  But what came out of his mouth was, “Oh, mom!”  I am praying that the banner ad drops down into his heart so that he can be more certain of his destiny.

I’m very glad that Jessica asked the question so that she can be prepared, not just for the end, but for other big things that Life might present to her.  Praise in the face of trial is known to break down strongholds, so what I told her to do can apply to anything!

But it never hurts to be prepared about these things.

On October 17, 1989 at 5:04pm, I was at work in a high-rise building in the San Francisco financial district when the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake hit. It was a monster and I remember it being so loud!

“Where was I?” you ask

“Underneath my desk becoming a Catholic!”

Having grown up a Protestant, I had never made the Sign of the cross. But on that day? I was crouched down on my knees under my desk genuflecting and saying the Lord’s Prayer like crazy!   This didn’t come from some logical reasoning, but from my panic that in about 3 seconds flat I was going to be meeting God up-close-and-personal. Thankfully, we all made it out safely.

Eight years ago (back when I still had money) I worked out with a Trainer at Gold’s Gym a few mornings a  week after dropping the girls off at preschool. One morning, I did a  particularly hard regimen and I was in that state of queasy bliss you can sometimes get after a really hard workout.  Leaving Gold’s in my car, I sat at the red traffic light that crosses over a one-way street. My light turned green, but I didn’t go. I just sat there being spaced-out. Just then, a huge semi-truck whizzed past me going about 40mph, running the red light. Two seconds earlier, and his big Semi grill would have been plowing through my driver’s side door.  In that moment, I could almost visibly see through the thin veil that separates this life from the next one.  It was that close.

So Jessica’s question this morning made me think a little bit more about all this. What DO we do at the end?  It’s not so much a question of When since we all have a “when.”  That part is inevitable.  The bigger question for me is the “How.

How will I meet God face-to-face? Will I be afraid of a holy judgment; cowering and weeping in despair? Will I be obstinate; shaking my fist and shouting?  Will I be overcome with joy and peace, happy that I am part of the remnant? Or will my denial be showing: “Will He say he knows me?”

I see Judgment as sitting down with God to view the DVD of my life from the beginning to the end. I do think that generally speaking, God has a great sense of humor. But during the DVD phase, I seriously doubt that He will be laughing.  That will be the ultimate uncovering. No escaping the total truth about my life. Meh!

As a follower of Jesus, I believe that being redeemed or saved means that the DVD of my life will show nothing but absolute perfection because I invited Jesus to be my editor. He bought and paid for all the parts (past, present, and future) that he knew were going to make His Father cry, cutting them out and splicing them into his own movie that he called The Crucifixion: The Finished Work.

I tend to forget this, often still trying to “be good” and forgetting that the Grace of God is not a reward, but a gift. There is nothing to be done but just receive the gift, open it, say thank you, and then use it, wear it, read it, ride it, swim in it.  Because of that transactional moment when I said Yes to God’s offer, taking the 1-Step program out of darkness into the light, I know that my “How” will be filled with unfathomable joy and remembering that gives me a lot of peace.

If you want to know more about having a joyful “How” please email me at

This is a great song about How:

Coming up:

Blogs on “The plot to re-kill Lazarus” and “Obedience as Revelation, Not Rules.”

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