For a long time, I followed a simple, 3-step process when I had a decision to make. I’m giving it to you today so you can file it in the “what not to do” folder.
Step 1 – Ignore all warning signs.
Step 2 – Make a bad choice.
Step 3 – Regret it.
I told you it was simple, I didn’t say it was good.
About ten years ago, I began to have a problem swallowing while I was eating. It happened at random times and I couldn’t figure out what caused it. Every now and then, I would take a bite of food and it would get stuck in my esophagus, right behind my sternum. It hurt like crazy and, sometimes, so bad I thought I was going to choke to death. But, after a minute or two, it would go down and I could eat again.
For years, I ignored the problem. I finally mentioned it to a few doctors, but they didn’t seem to be alarmed by it. So, I decided if they weren’t worried, I wasn’t either.
A couple of months ago, on a night that was just as normal as any other, I sat down to eat dinner and--
you guessed it—the first bite wouldn’t go down. I thought, “okay, this will go away in a minute like it always does”.
After waiting three hours, I gave in and went to the emergency room. They rushed me in the back and used a scope to clear my esophagus.
Tests revealed that I have a food allergy which causes my esophagus to swell, which explained my problem swallowing. The doctor told me that if I had not made the trip to the emergency room when I did, there was a good chance I would have passed out and maybe even passed away!
Though it was scary at the time, that incident certainly didn’t feel life-threatening.
Perhaps it seems obvious to you that I should have done something about it before I ended up in the emergency room.
But like so many other times, I ignored the warnings. I had lived with the problem for years and thought that if anything bad was going to happen, it would have happened already.
How about you? Have you gotten warnings but ignored them? It doesn’t always have to be a health issue.
Maybe it’s a relationship. You know there are problems but you ignore them, hoping the person will change and that--one day--everything will be okay.
Perhaps it’s a job. You know you hate it, but you keep hoping things will get better. Maybe you even tell yourself it’s normal to hate your job.
And maybe it’s your relationship with Christ. It’s been on your mind, and while you know you shouldn’t ignore it, you have. Maybe you think one day you’ll make some life changes and start putting more into your faith, but you’re just too busy now. There’s always tomorrow, right?
In 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 1, verses 2 and 3, the Bible tells us, “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying ‘everything is peaceful and secure’, then disaster will fall on them…” (New Living Translation)
I’m not trying to scare anyone into making the decision to follow Christ. But, one day, you’re going to run out of time to make that choice.
And it may be when you least expect it.
Things may be going well, and the future looks bright. But there’s no time like the present to think seriously about your relationship with Jesus Christ and making those changes in your life that you know you need to make.
Whatever you do, just don’t find yourself following that 3-step process I use to live by. Ask God to show you what you need to do, and how to do it—and he will.
By the way, choking when you eat isn’t normal. If that’s happening to you, go get checked. And if the doctor tells you not to worry--find another doctor!