Our youngest son, Jamin, is in law school at Liberty University, and lives in an off-campus apartment, which means that he typically cooks his own meals. The boy is really a great cooker, but he often calls his mother about menus. His most recent call to his mother this week reminded me of an article I wrote about him years ago about food.
It was an evening after Wednesday church service. Usually, when our boys got home, they hit the available eats like a blight. They were so accustomed to that “before-bedtime snack.”
When Terry and I arrived 30 minutes later, Micaiah and Jamin were playing about the house. Later on, Terry and I sat out in the yard, and the boys ran around trying to catch lightening bugs. It was pleasurable watching them play. But, when they got to fussing and fighting, I sent them to bed. They pitched a considerable fuss about having to go to bed without their snack.
“You mean to tell me that you have not eaten anything yet?” I questioned. “You have had plenty of time to have gotten something to eat. Now, off to bed!”
Jamin stomped off in a huff, grumbling about not getting a second chance to eat his snack. But, fifteen minutes later, Jamin exited the back door on the backside of the house, and appeared in the in front yard walking toward us.
Sweetly and sincerely, he asked, “Dad, will you give me just one more chance?”
I was caught halfway between the irritation and humor of the situation. “No, son, you had your chance. Now, get to bed.”
Suddenly, he reared his head backward like a primed coyote, and began to wail, ‘PLEASE! JUST GIVE ME ONE MORE CHANCE!”
And, as he turned and walked away, he continued to wail, “ALL I WANT IS JUST ONE MORE CHANCE!”
Around the house he went wailing, ‘PLEASE! ONE MORE CHANCE!’
When he got to the backside of the house, his wailing reverberated across the countryside, “PLE-E-A-A-SE, OH, PLE-E-E-E-A-A-SE! JUST GIVE ME MORE CHANCE!”
Yet the consideration of this incident stirred me to consider that eternal day when sinners will stand before the Savior, Jesus Christ. The terror of standing before the Judge will be an unparalleled experience. Searching through the Lamb’s Book of Life, their names will not be found.
It is in Matthew 7:21-23 that the words of Christ capture the intensity of that woeful moment, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. / Many will say in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in they name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? / And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
And, then, sweetly and sincerely, they will try to reason, “Lord, will you give me just one more chance?”
“But, you had so much time to receive my free gift of salvation,” Christ will reply. “You had a lifetime to consider what I did for you on the Cross, and what I accomplished for you through my Resurrection. Now, your eternal destination is set. There is no more recourse. This judgment is just.”
And, sensing their descent to the Pit, they begin to wail, “JUST GIVE ME ONE MORE CHANCE! OH, PLEASE! ALL I WANT IS ONE MORE CHANCE!
The Scriptural picture seen in Luke 19 demonstrates how people ask for just one more chance. It is not a matter of snacks, but salvation. It is not a matter of play, but delay. It is not be a matter of time, but timing. It is not a matter of choice, but having not chosen while opportunity prevailed.
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
In the meantime, I get no calls from Jamin about cooking or menus. The boy knows his father can’t cook and only cooks best when we eat out, and that does not help him being so far away—-which, on the other hand, affords me a lower restaurant tab.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.