The phone rings. You pick it up. After a few minutes of conversation with the person on the other end of the line, you hear the words, “I’ll be over in a few minutes.”
That’s when panic sets in.
As soon as you’re off the phone, there is a mad rush. You’re giving orders to the kids to clean up their mess, running around trying to make the house look presentable. In the midst of all that, you’re silently hoping that the impending visitor gets stuck in a bit of traffic to give you a few more minutes. You’re in a mad dash to get things in order…
To make things like they should have been the whole time.
There may be some people who have never experienced this phenomenon known as “the cleaning panic.” And if you are one of them, I say, “Just wait until you have kids.” For the rest of us, this event happens…well, let’s just say it happens from time to time.
But after the latest “cleaning panic,” I got to thinking. This is the way a lot of people live their whole lives. They don’t take care of anything until the last minute. They have turned procrastination into an art.
You know these kind of people:
- They wait until the gas tank is empty before filling up.
- They wait until the milk is gone and the kids are crying because they can’t have their cereal before they decide to run to the store.
- They wait until someone is on their way over before they clean the house (and don’t look in the bedrooms!).
- They wait until two minutes before the doctor appointment to leave their house (and then they wonder why they have to spend so much time in the waiting room).
What makes this lifestyle so common? We are saturated with a culture that says, “Enjoy life now, pay later.” Credit cards are perhaps the biggest example of this.
But there is one thing that everyone needs to realize.
Some visitors don’t call first.
Death doesn’t call first. If you’re old enough to read this, then I bet you can name a lot of people who died unexpectedly. Had they known death was coming, they might have done a “panic cleaning” of their life. They might have made their life right with God. The might have made peace with those who they had been at odds with. They might have tried to tell their family about the importance of becoming a Christian.
In short, to make things like they should have been the whole time.
One of the best bumper stickers I have ever seen read this way: Those who plan to repent at the 11th hour usually die at 10:30.
Make your life right today, because you don’t know when your last minute will be.