Dec 15, 2009

Late Again

Late fees are such a nuisance. They are a tax for busy people. Sometimes being late is completely unavoidable. It’s also embarrassing. Well, in my case it’s embarrassing. “Oh Mr. Hook, you finally decided to return our book. We thought it was gone forever. After all, you checked it out during the Clinton Administration”.


When Blockbuster decided to stop charging late fees, I was elated. Over the years I gave them a lot of money in late fees. Sometimes I would keep the video for weeks. I would get phone calls from the store, “When are you going to return the movie? Other people want to rent it”. Eventually I would return it. Hey, I’m a busy guy. When Netflix came along, it was a Godsend. No late fees. Keep the video as long as you want. No trip to the store… just mail the video back. That’s my kind of rental program.


It’s not just the library and the video store that gives me problems. I get phone calls from the dry cleaners, too. I think pretty soon they’ll start changing me a storage fee. The clothes might go out of style before they get picked up.


There was an interesting story out of Toledo, Ohio this week. A book was mailed back to an Ohio library after being checked out for six decades. The book was a biography, “Napoleon”, by Emil Ludwig. It arrived at Toledo's main library, with an apology note that said, “I removed this book from your stacks in 1949 and did not check it out. I apologize. It's an excellent book and in good condition.” What was really interesting was the signature. The person who signed it also wrote, “Carrying guilt for 60 years is a terrible thing.” Yes, carrying guilt for any length of time is a terrible thing. That’s why Jesus washes away our guilt.


Some people believe that Jesus should be charged a late fee. After all, He is sure taking His time returning at the end of the age. Scripture teaches that at His coming, all the world will see Him, all the dead shall rise, and a new heaven and earth will be created. This is a great thing for which all Christians anxiously await. But no one knows the day or the hour.


But He will come again. And at that judgment day, even if we have late fees in this world, we will never, ever, be late again. Because we will live with Him in eternity and there will be time to do everything.




Pastor David Hook

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