On January 13, 2018, 8:07am Hawaii time, a text message was received by residents that says, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” There was hysteria. They began to frantically call their family members, uttered prayers, held hands and sought out of shelters. Their worst nightmare was coming true – a nuclear attack by North Korea. They knew the moment that they received a warning that they only have 12 to 15 minutes to seek a shelter. After 38 minutes, the alert was revoked. Someone clicked the wrong button. Everyone was relieved, and then there was public outrage.
What if you are there? What if it will happen to you? What if you only have 12 to 15 minutes left in your life? This is a lot of “what ifs” but someday, as we all know, our life will surely come to an end. What can we learn from this event?
First, Life is short so live a life with meaning. We can only have a meaningful life if we have Jesus in our lives. In John 10:10 (NIRV) Jesus said, “I have come so they may have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.” If you have Jesus in your life, then in the last moments of your life, you will not harbor any regrets because you have lived a full life.
This means that you have loved God and people with all your heart, soul and mind. This means that you have let go of your bitterness, have forgiven people and asked for forgiveness also. This means that you have invested the talent that God has entrusted to you. This means that you have fulfilled the Great Commission and shared the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. In short, you have become a follower of Jesus Christ.
Second, Be ready for the afterlife. There is life after this life on Earth. One of the most memorized verses in the Bible, John 3:16, tells us about eternal life and those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will spend eternity with God.
My death, your death, our death will come anytime. We do not know when it will be. We may not have 12 to 15 minutes of warning time. But what we can do is to be ready, and to continue having a life with meaning and purpose.
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications
Central Philippine University