I spent days preparing for a three-day training session, doing all the pre-work, and participating in the mandatory virtual sessions. I was excited, as it would be my first face-to meeting since the pandemic. Emails with instructions were flying back and forth, and it was sometimes a task to keep up with all of the pre-requirements for the meeting and trudge through the regular slew of emails I received daily.
Finally, the day arrived, and I was ready. I left home early since I did not want to arrive late. Since the meeting was going to be in one of the conference rooms of the building where I worked, I went to my desk, chit-chatted with a few of my colleagues, and five minutes before the meeting time, I made my way over to the conference room.
The first thing that surprised me when I entered the room was how packed the space was and the number of people already in the room. Secondly, the meeting appeared to be in progress since everyone seemed settled and someone was already presenting, so I quickly found an empty seat and settled in to avoid the ” you are late” stares I was already receiving. I quickly scanned the room for a familiar face; not a familiar face was around the table. Even the facilitators looked different.
Five minutes into the meeting, I felt uncomfortable; the discussion was nothing related to the training material I had been going over for weeks. In addition to that, the name tags that I could read suggested that the participants were from another UN Agency. I started looking around in a bit of a panic, and the lady beside me asked me if everything was okay. I quietly whispered to her that I might be in the wrong meeting and told her the session name I was supposed to be in. She immediately confirmed that it was the wrong meeting, and I made a hasty exit before too many people caught on to what was happening.
As I stepped out of the room, I panicked. What could have gone wrong? Where was I supposed to be? I calmed myself and quickly started to check my emails, and as I checked, I realized that I had missed an important email informing me about a change of venue for the session.
I composed myself and quickly made the ten-minute walk to the next building where my session was and slid in quietly at the back of the room as people were still introducing themselves. As expected, the session went very well, and my colleagues had a good chuckle when I told them about the mix-up.
As I played the incident over in my mind, I thought I could have avoided the mix-up If I had only paid more attention to my emails. Fortunately, that error did not result in too much damage. However, not paying attention can sometimes lead to more severe consequences, including the loss of life.
As I pondered on it, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”
My not paying attention caused me to end up in a meeting I was not supposed to attend, and fortunately, that was an error that I could correct quickly. However, we are all preparing for the most important meeting of our lives, when, as stated in Revelation 20:12, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
We cannot afford to miss the important messages in the word of God about our preparation for eternity. Irrespective of how busy we are, we must find time to ensure that nothing slips. We cannot afford to be on the wrong side of eternity. As mentioned in Luke 16: 19-31, in the account of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham told the rich man that there was a great gulf that separated Heaven and hell, so whichever “meeting room” you find yourself in on judgment day is where you will spend eternity.
Unlike my story, where I got back on track, If you miss Heaven, there is no retracing of steps. The only way to ensure that we make it into the correct meeting room on the day of judgment is to pay attention now. We have to read the word of God daily, and we cannot be too busy to pay attention to the instructions found in God’s word. We must spend time in God’s presence since he constantly talks. The question is, are we listening? Jonah heard God’s instructions loud and clear but chose to go in another direction; again, that story had a good ending because Jonah got a second chance to get back to the correct ” meeting room.”
When that time comes, and we draw our last breath, there will be no other opportunities for second chances; we have to get it right here on earth.
You might have stopped taking heed and allowed a lot of vital information regarding eternal life to slip. I urge you to pay attention, so you don’t end up in the wrong meeting room. Matthew 24: 36 reminds us, “no man knows the day or the hour.” So be prepared and pay attention.