MAN, WHAT A RIDE
He sat in his cell and smiled grimly. There wasn't much that he could do now, but man, what a ride it had been.
Thoughts flowed like the water that had almost drowned him during his most recent shipwreck. He had spent that whole day and night in the open sea. Talk about treading water. He had invented some dog paddles that even the dogs hadn't thought of.
And that wasn't the half of it.
As he mused, he could hear the executioner sharpening the blade that would eventually take off his head.
He thought of the people that he had loved and about the strange turn of events that had brought him from a prominent and successful executive on the fast track, to what he was right now, which was a vermin infested snake bite victim whose days were definitely numbered.
It all began with a bolt of lightning and a voice. The voice was one he had never expected to hear. When he finally did hear it he wanted to scream "No...No...A Million times No..." but the voice would not be denied.
And that's what started him on the greatest adventure he had ever experienced.
Five times he had been beaten 39 times. Three times he had been beaten with rods. He was stoned once and left for dead. As for being shipwrecked, he was an old hand, having experienced it three times. He was always in danger but it didn't seem to cross his mind to quit.
Did you know that there are still men and women out there like him?
Our church just lost a man who had his eyes gouged out three days apart. His crime? He preached in homes that didn't appreciate the fact that he taught bible studies in peoples homes. He left a wife and a daughter who miss him dearly and THEY still carry his message. And this is 2007.
So he sat in his cell and listened to the hum of metal on metal. And he thought of something that he could do.
With a shaking hand and a dimming eye he wrote what might have been his last letter.
As far as I can tell it was to Philemon. I can't be sure, of course but the opening line is "Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother".
Whether or not this was the last thing he wrote doesn't really matter. What matters is that he knew what an adventure he was on and he was determined to see it through no matter what the cost.
And when he died, I hope he thought, "All Glory to God and
Man, what a ride!"
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