05 November 2010

Last minute fears

Years ago I worked for a church and school. I was in charge of the maintenance and custodial departments. Being in charge I had a very close working arrangement with the school principle as well as the church pastors.

The associate pastor was close to me in age and he knew my problems with church and we often talked about spiritual beliefs. He was one of the most opened minded religious people I ever met and we rarely talked religion.

Like I said he was the associate pastor. The head pastor did not care for our conversations and it was a wall between them. Then there was a third pastor. A pastor who served the church for over forty years.

He was given his own office and even in his late 80s he came to work everyday. He did not really do much but everyone treated him with the respect he earned through years of serving the Lord.

After he died, the associate pastor told me about his last conversation with him. Laying on his death bed he looked at the young pastor and started to cry and asked him if what they were doing was true. Were they really preaching about a life after death?

A few years before that I was an active member in another church. I was a lay reader and served on the church board of trustees.

There was a couple that came every Sunday with their two teenage children and seemed to be on top of the world. That is until the husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was a smoker and quit as soon as he found out he had cancer. That is until he found out that he had six months to live… so he went back to smoking.

Why these two stories? Last night I heard a story which really makes me think about our last moments in this realm of existence.

As you know I am an alcoholic having been sober for 16 years. My dream is to die sober. Last night I learned that on his death bed Bill Wilson one of the founders of AA wanted three shots of whiskey.

Here was a man who fought his whole life to get sober and one of his last wishes was to have whiskey.

An alcoholic wanting a drink. A man with cancer wanting his smokes. A man of God questioning his beliefs.

I often wondered what those last seconds were like. I really thought it would answer all of my questions. Now I wonder if any question will be answered.

Just kind of rambling tonight. No real reason for this post… just trying to clear up the confusion in my own mind.

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