“Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” (Frank Robinson)
That quote is one of my favorites as it conveys truth, provides a clear visual image, is clever, and is humorous through only a few words. It leads to the question, “how good is good enough?”. How do I know if my parenting is good (or good enough)? Am I a good enough husband? Good enough at my job?
Coming close to the requirements means that the requirements weren’t met. If you were close to winning, that means you lost (or tied but let’s not argue). Close to passing the test, or worse, close to making it across the train tracks before the train passed by.
Recently I was late for an appointment and arrived “close” to the scheduled time. No matter my pleading (and I even played the sympathy card as it was my birthday), the administrator denied my entry.
Isn’t this a metaphor for the afterlife? When we face final judgment, will we be deemed “close” to worthy or truly worthy and allowed to eternity with our creator?
2 And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. (Revelation 5:2-3)
We often lie to ourselves, thinking that we’re good people and that the afterlife will be just fine because of our own goodness or our deeds. We hope that we are good enough. The fact is that no one of us is good enough, and there is only one who is worthy. Assurance in eternity can only come from a changed heart and life that submits to Jesus Christ as lord and savior.
Jesus lived a perfect life. He never sinned, and he never failed. Through his sacrifice and victory over death, he proved himself as the worthy one.
9 And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9)
By humbling himself and allowing the oppressors to treat him as worthless, he became worthy. He values you and me so much that he gave his life. Without Jesus we are not worthy; by humbling ourselves and placing ultimate value and reliance on Jesus, we become worthy, only because he is worthy.
Who do you trust? Are you worthy? Are you sure? “Forever and ever” (as described in Revelation 5:13) means forever and ever; no turning back.
Today’s reading: Revelation 5