A feeling of unfamiliarity crept over Mark as he looked down the deserted corridor. It was dimly lit and seemed to stretch far into the distance ending in darkness. The NRL footballer was baffled. This wasn’t the dressing room or any part of the stadium that he knew. He guessed it was the hospital.
“GAME OVER, MATE!” he heard a voice shout behind him.
Mark spun around in response but saw no-one – this end of the corridor was as empty as the other. Slightly dazed, he leaned against the wall to get his bearings. The last thing he remembered was running toward the try line and being heavily tackled.
That must’ve been some tackle. I must’ve blacked out.
Suddenly the walls around him seemed to dance with images - images from his own past screening like a movie on the walls around him. Some were of happy times, others were of things long buried beneath mounds of regret or sadness. All came back vividly then faded until the corridor was once again still and eerily quiet.
What’s happening? I must be hallucinating … gotta find a doctor.
A door opened up ahead and a young man stepped out inviting Mark into an office. He motioned towards an arm chair and Mark obligingly sat down, grateful for the company.
“Are you a doctor?” he asked hopefully, as the young man sat at a desk and looked over some papers.
“No, Mark,” the man answered, “I’m the records clerk.”
“You … know my name? … ah, of course, you’ve seen me on the Footy Show!” Mark still found it unsettling when complete strangers seemed to know him. “Listen, I need a doctor,” he continued, “I’m having hallucinations. Must have a bit of concussion, I reckon.”
The clerk shook his head. “Not hallucinations – memories! Memories always return before you appear in court.”
“The Final Court. Your appearance before the Judge, remember?”
Mark couldn’t remember. What was he charged with? When did this happen? Where was he? He shook his head frowning.
“Your last football game …?” the clerk prompted. “Your fatal head injury …?”
“Fatal? … You mean… it’s all over?” Mark asked. “This is the afterlife? I thought all of that was a joke.” He paused a moment as the reality hit home, then his face broke into a grin. “So where’s the party?” he asked.
“Yeah, the party … you know … ‘hell’” he chuckled, “free booze, sex, all the bad things …”
Suddenly, a bloodcurdling shriek from the corridor pierced the conversation and Mark gingerly stepped out to have a look. His face paled at the sight of a hideous creature being dragged towards him by two huge men.
“Nooooo!” it wailed, “Noooo! Not the abyss… not the abyss!!”
They stopped about halfway and turned to the wall. A door opened and flames leapt out as they pushed the demonic creature forward. The door closed behind it and the two men turned and looked down the corridor to where Mark stood frozen in astonishment.
“Is that what you call a party? Even the demons don’t want to go there.”
Mark’s heart began to race. This couldn’t be true – it wasn’t supposed to be like this. He stumbled back into the room and sat down. “Get a grip!’ he told himself sternly.
“You’ll need more than that if your name is not in the roll book and I can’t see it here.”
“The Book of Life. All who belong to the Lamb of God have their names written here.”
Suddenly Mark became angry. “I didn’t know about any book,” he shouted. “This isn’t fair.”
“You’ve had access to the truth but you’ve never pursued it. That was your choice, Mark.”
It was pointless denying it. Scenes from his life flashed before them to confirm what the clerk had said.
“Okay, you’re right. I’ve made some pretty bad choices, I suppose. … But look, you gotta go tell my brother Simon about this. … Please you gotta warn him that life is not just a game. Tell him there are consequences.”
“He will have the same access that you’ve had.”
“Well, maybe if someone came back from the dead, then he would believe.”
“Someone has already risen from the dead, Mark. You didn’t believe in Him.”
‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.’ Hebrews 4:13 NKJV
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