I think it must have been the rapture that brought us all here. In a split second, I’d heard the sound of a trumpet and as if propelled by magic, some of us were airborne. We did not fly for long, but suddenly found ourselves in an open space around a central golden throne. On the throne sat the most beautiful person I had ever seen. He had such a glow about Him that one had to look away because of the glare. Beside Him sat a man equally as glorious, but a shade younger than Him. I assumed I was in the presence of Jesus and God The Father. I stood in awe of all that I was seeing – petrified, but in some way, at peace. I wondered how fear and peace could coexist.
Thousands had gathered around the seat. As names were called, in an apparent roll call, I could see palpable fear as the owners of the names stepped forward. I tried to remember the names of people whose destination I had planned to confirm in heaven, but alas! I could not remember any. I was too preoccupied with my own fate. Had I been living in a state of grace? Did I repent of every known or unknown sin? Could it be said that there was faith in my heart? I was spellbound as I watched the proceedings. I muttered a quick prayer of repentance and wondered if it was still acceptable. Did my repentance at this stage count? I vaguely remembered the saying that by the time the trumpet sounds it would be too late to say sorry and the sinner would be saying “had I known.”
Then suddenly it struck me that if indeed I had been airborne it meant I had made it! Perhaps the roll call was to apportion rewards. Was I deserving of a reward if indeed I had made it, albeit narrowly? I tried to remember the last time I’d preached to anybody about Christ, or prayed for lost souls and people’s needs, other than mine. My memory was hazy, dulled by fear and apprehension. I heard my name and I stepped forward. The throng of people in front of me gave way as I moved towards the seat with wobbly knees. I prayed silently that I would indeed obtain mercy.
I saw for the first time that two angels were seated at a table with a large book in front of them. The bold inscription that ran across the top of the book was “A record of works.” I saw my name boldly printed on the page in view. The writing on the page appeared scanty. I closed my eyes and hoped I would not faint.
I suddenly felt that I should rejoice no matter the reward I got. It was better to be a squatter in heaven without a crown or a star than to have missed out altogether, though some ‘decoration,’ reward or medallions would have been nice. I opened my eyes and sang with every ounce of my strength:
From across the hall, thousands of voices joined me in worship of the Lord! I forgot my apprehension, lost in my love and reverence for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!
I felt a tap on my shoulder and prayed silently that it was not the devil coming to accuse me of wrongdoing, or to dispute whose disciple I was really. It was Helen. My wife and the mother of my children. I hugged her and clung to her laughing. I was so relieved to realize I had been dreaming.
“Darling, you were singing and crying at the same time in your dream. Are you okay?” she asked.
“I am dear. I think I just had a wake up call from the Lord. I need to create more time for prayer and my spiritual life. I need to consciously share my faith. I need to lay up treasures in heaven that will count for eternity,” I replied.
She smiled and waved her hands to the heavens. Helen had tried for months to get me to at least attend church services regularly, but I had been only too happy to fix meetings on Sunday mornings to ‘brainstorm’ on business strategies for the week ahead. Even when my staff protested about the timing, I was quick to tell them that they were free to walk away if they no longer needed their jobs. There were several other areas I felt I had come short of God’s glory in as well. Some of them were deeply personal and I was not about to share them with Helen. I told her I needed time alone with God and moved to the study.
I could see clearly that if God chose to treat me mercifully, I would have had ‘squatter status’ in heaven, if indeed the rapture had occurred. I felt I was destined for much more than that and I got on my knees to ask for God’s grace. I needed help. I needed strength. I needed the anointing for faith, courage and service that could only come from the spirit of God.
I sang: “Come Holy Spirit, I need you!…..”
Chigozie Anuli Mbadugha is a God Chaser, wife, mother, motivational speaker, editor, author, book marketing consultant and blogger. She has written and published an inspirational collection of short stories titled: Beyond the Trial and shares her thoughts on life and writing at CambaBooks.