The Body Builder Why Are We Waiting?

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Captain Terry CamseyI had occasion to visit a hospital the other day. It was quite an experience, as anyone exposed to a nationalized health scheme would know.

I arrived early and was told to wait in a ward until the nurses had finished their early morning briefing There were about five empty beds in the room and just me. It was a great opportunity to do a little Bible study, and so I took advantage of it. Before long, a couple of other men arrived and started to settle in. One was a salesman, full of corny jokes he repeated to everyone who came near, so that was the end of the Bible study.

Then I was dispatched to cardiology for an ECG (yes, that’s right, an ECG, not an EKG) where I joined a queue (yes, that’s right, not a line!). It wasn’t too long a wait and I was then sent off for blood samples to be taken. There I took a ticket from a dispensing machine It was number 68 and “they” were up to about 40. The waiting room was packed with stiff British upper lips so, despite the crowd, the room was silent.

Next, off to x-ray. Again, a long queue and so slow that the technician took me off to emergency, where she thought access to a machine would be quicker. Not.

Then back off to cardiology to see a doctor. I was called in pretty quickly and taken into a room I had seen earlier for the ECG. As, having stripped, I was again being covered with little plastic sticky things, I suggested that I had already had this test once about an hour ago. “Oh!” said the technician, as she seated me in the waiting room.

The next part was fun. An embryo cardiologist made out my “chart”…which I discovered was a brief medical history. He was Indian and I’m not sure of his religion, but he did preach to me about predestination and the fact that, regardless of what the hospital did, or did not do, I would die at my appointed time. It was interesting, but I’m not sure where that fitted in with his professional ethics.

Finally, back to the ward for completion of the day’s activities…to the accompaniment of the same jokes repeated to every visitor until my salesman friend was finally discharged before me.

It reminded me of a television drama I saw years ago in which two young men had, obviously, arrived in the waiting room to the after world. They were there quite a while, getting bored with each other, until an “attendant” led them off into another room.

In that room there were a group of elderly people who were reminiscing about the good old days, playing some old gramophone records and doing a little ballroom dancing.

The young guys were interested for awhile, but soon became impatient to move on. Tensions arose between them and the old folks over appropriate dress, music styles, etc.

The attendant finally came back through the room and the young men asked when they were going to be moved on to the next stage on the way to “wherever” their ultimate destination was. He told them that they were already at their final destination.

You should have seen their faces when it sank in that they were a minority in a majority of elderly people who did not share the same tastes or values, and that was the way it was going to be for eternity.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison, they say. I rather think that heaven must have many, many options because–taking music alone–what is heaven to one’s hell to another!

And, if worship is indeed supposed to be a foretaste of what heaven will be like, the challenge of not making it “hell” for people of other generations with differing tastes is just that. A challenge.

Oh, and one final point. Revelation gives us the words of worship in heaven but not much of a clue as to the music. What if it’s country and western?! My guess is that, played and sung to glorify God, he’ll not be too narrow-minded about the style.

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