What if Jesus Came Back Right Now?

March 22, 2010

What if you died right now?

What if the Lord Jesus Christ came back on his chariot at this very moment?

Those were two questions (or something like them) I heard a lot in church and Sunday School as a kid and teenager, and even from a roommate at my Christian college.  The questions were always followed up with, “Is that really what you’d want to be doing when you die?  Is that where you’d want to be found, dead?  Would Jesus appreciate coming all the way back to Earth to see you doing that?”

Few thoughts instilled more fear than the thought of Jesus coming back just as I was doing something I shouldn’t, like watching a rated R movie, or holding hands with a girl.  I suppose that was the point of the question.  You shouldn’t do anything you wouldn’t want Jesus to see, or go someplace you where you wouldn’t want the coroner to find you.  If you wouldn’t want your newspaper obituary to say it, don’t do it, don’t go there.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and I’ve realized there’s a lot of places I need to avoid and activities I wouldn’t want to suddenly keel over and die while doing.  These would be at least as embarrassing as being caught dead in a cheap strip club, so I’d rather avoid them altogether, just to be safe.

Places to Avoid, Just in Case Jesus Comes Back

Bath and Body Works
First of all, the possibility of death by fruity asphyxiation is a very real one, so I’d rather avoid this place anyway.  But I can think of few things worse than the news reporting I had been found dead while perusing canisters of lavender scented “body butter.”

Renaissance Fair
Before there was World of Warcraft, nerds actually met in person and pretended to be Robin Hood.  Today, the tradition is kept alive by nerds whose parents cut off their high speed internet, and must get back to their roots at Ye Olde Renaissance Fair.  There’s just no cool way to be caught dead in a leotard with a mutton joint in your mouth.  I think even Jesus stopped saying “Ye” and “Thee” a few years ago.

Build-A-Bear Workshop
There is just no good explanation for a childless man in his late-twenties to be in a shop, building his own teddy bear.  I don’t think even Jesus would understand that one.  Kind of like that time I told Dad I’d be in the school production of The Wizard of Oz…as Dorothy.  Exit stage left.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Just after having picture taken for eating 12 “Flaming Hot” wings in six minutes.
There are fewer finer achievements of the human spirit than the victory of man vs. food.  For millennia, man has struggled in his war to rid the world of its excess food in a battle of sheer, unbelievable gluttony, and immortalized it’s finest heroes in Polaroids after their triumphs.  But I just don’t think food is an enemy we can beat.  And I’d rather be a pacifist than die trying. 

The Sex Reference / Self Help aisle at Barnes and Noble
Everyone who goes to this aisle looks as if they think Jesus is going to appear right then and there in that aisle with them (as I can see from my safe vantage point in the Gardening and Cooking aisle.)  Even if Jesus doesn’t come back, the Sex Reference people have to endure the dirty looks from the Self-Help people who have real problems, that only Suzanne Somers can solve.

I have never heard one good thing about Alabama.  I’m sure it’s a great place to the people who live there, and my tetanus shots are up to date, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Dressed as the Statue of Liberty on the street corner for local tax services.
I’ve often been tempted to apply for that job, but outside of context, wearing a Statue of Liberty costume does look slightly, completely insane.  I’d hate to be raptured right there on that sidewalk and get stuck forever with that costume as my heavenly robe and crown.

Perched on front of boat with arms outstretched, shouting, “I’m the king of the world!”
I’m pretty sure the first rule of heaven will be “no Titanic references.”  Anyone caught doing this will be pushed overboard.

In line for the midnight release of the “New Moon” DVD.
This is self-explanatory.  Harry Potter is so much better.

I’m sure the list will grow.  What about you?  What’s on your list of places you wouldn’t be caught dead?