Sunday, June 15, 2008

Time is up!

Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

My husband, daughter and I are at the Interstate Battery Convention in Washington, D.C. It has been a relaxing trip for me, work, work, work for my husband and daughter. It's a lot of behind the scenes people who pull off a large convention.

Traditionally on Sunday of the convention, Norm Miller (owner of Interstate Battery) holds a "church service" of sorts for all the convention goers. Norm became a Christian years ago and offers the same opportunity for everyone who's at the convention.

This morning's service was to be a question and answer time with Jimmy and Patty Makar and the guest singer was to be Toby Mac (formerly of dc Talk). Norm and the Makar's sat on the stage and talked about their partnership, how they initially met, their teaming up with Joe Gibbs racing, choosing Dale Jarrett as the original Interstate race driver (Patty is his sister) and how the Makar's came to give their life to Christ at a Super Bowl chapel service. It was interesting listening to their reminiscing about the past, and I think everyone was enjoying the time. We all knew once Norm was finished speaking with the Makar's he would offer an opportunity for all to make a decision for or against Christ. He was explaining about Grace and God's free gift in the form of His Son, Jesus. He went on to say that time is short...we do not always have time to decide...

All of a sudden my husband jumped up and rushed out. My daughter and I were startled and didn't know why he was running from the room. Looking up I saw a crowd had gathered around someone on the floor on the opposite side of the balcony from us. I could also see someone doing CPR on whoever was on the ground.

Norm didn't realize what was happening in the balcony and had continued speaking, but was interrupted by someone calling for a Doctor. Several nurses came running to their aid and they began taking turns doing CPR. My husband called immediately for an felt like forever for those of us watching before the EMT's arrived. CPR continued...each yelling as the next took over to keep the compressions going. The EMT's worked along side the nurses and would yell clear each time they shocked him...4 times they yelled "CLEAR" no avail.

Time seemed to stand still. Henry, the Interstate Chaplain came up to be with the wife of the man on the floor. As he knelt down beside her I heard someone near me praying and I could see most of the crowd had their heads bowed praying for the EMT's, for the man on the floor, for his wife, and for Henry as he comforted her. Norm prayed several times from the stage as we all waited in silence, willing him back to life.

Twenty-four long minutes passed before they got him up on the stretcher and moved him out to the hospital...but in my spirit I knew...he was gone.

Norm announced that the service was over and they would not continue on with the music. It seemed fitting to end now. All left the large banquet room in silence. Norm's last words from earlier filled my mind..."there's no time like the present. We don't know when life will be over."

We heard after the fact that it was the wife, who is a nurse, that immediately began the initial CPR. She kept telling the others, that were also working on him, that he was gone. She knew as soon as she began the CPR that he was gone. She told Henry that she felt his presence leave, but she was at peace. Her husband did know the Lord. He had spent the morning with her, happy at breakfast and was smiling as Norm and the Makar's were speaking...nodding in agreement that no one knows the hour they will be called home.

Who knew, that at that exact moment, he would be called home? None of us knows the hour or day that our time here on earth is finished, but we do know we will each stand before the Lord to account for our time here. I pray that each of my days and moments are honoring to Him and that I am living my life to the fullest knowing at any moment I'm ready to leave. What needed to be said has been said, what purpose I have been given is being completed and I can stand and hear..."Well done, good and faithful servant. "

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