The news alert came across my car radio. A huge bolt of lightning had struck a California beach out of the blue in the middle of a beautifully sunny day, leaving one person dead and more than a dozen injured, one critically.
I listened as the desk anchor cut to the scene where a field reporter was waiting to interview an eye witness. I’m still shaking my head over what happened next. Apparently, the guy being interviewed saw the whole thing as an opportunity to grab his 15 seconds of fame for he opened his eye witness account with a joke. Yes, he did. He stuttered and stammered as if he’d been struck by lightning himself. As you might imagine, his joke fell flat. I couldn’t see the reporter’s face, but the dead air was a big clue. The wannabe comedian chuckled self-consciously and said something about how you just have to laugh to get through things. To his credit, the reporter continued the interview as if it hadn’t even happened, only it got worse. Within seconds the fellow was actually plugging a movie he was producing. I couldn’t believe my ears.
Grasping now, the reporter opined on the life-altering experience it must have been for all involved. The guy’s response said it all, “Oh, absolutely,” he said. “I know it changed me– for a minute.”
That’s what he said. It changed him for a minute. Telling isn’t it? Whatever else impact the near death experience had on him it was temporary. Once you sit with that a while, the truth of it settles in. We’ve all had experiences that we think will change us forever–and now I’m thinking about our first encounter with Jesus– only to discover that it was temporary, a moment, a season. I can’t count the number of times that happened to me. Today, I remember eternally grateful that Father God taught me how to stay in His pursuit because it is His abiding Presence that changes us forever!