Saturday evening I was working in the study when Chris came in and greeted me. We chatted a bit and I told him about my Sunday school lesson for the next morning – Leviticus 16 – the Day of the Atonement and the scapegoat. Chris is a pretty deep thinker and has spent a number of years studying the works of 16th Century theologians. He asked me if I had ever, really, seriously considered the word ‘reckless.’ I chuckled and said that I didn’t suppose that I had. He said that he had been thinking about it and found that it was derived from the root word ‘reckon.’
Later, I checked on it and discovered that reckon is a verb meaning: ‘to establish by calculating.’ I thought about Chris’ comments throughout the night and then learned that the bad old dude from my early years—the boogyman, Charles Manson, had died on Sunday and his death was announced by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Manson was a spooky dude and troubled my generation. He was the wild-eyed leader of a cult “family” who killed seven people in a bloody rampage of drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll music in Los Angeles and shocked the nation in 1969. As a result of that recklessness, the dude spent the majority of his life living in a cage, living like a laboratory rat.
He was one really messed up dude.
Here is the reality of reckless and reckon: And as it is appointed once unto man to die, and then the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
In 1919 Dr. R. G. Lee a famous preacher of that era delivered a powerful sermon entitled “Payday, Someday,” which spoke to the correlation between decisions made in this life and the consequences in the next life.
Charles Manson went out into eternity . . . into the next life . . . and soon into it he encountered God, the author of the Ten Commandments. What do you suppose transpired in that meeting?
Today we hear of and from folks who claim to be atheist . . . you can rest assured that there are no atheists five minutes into death . . . as those foolish folks quickly change their minds . . . and then view themselves as having been reckless . . . and reckon they are in very serious trouble . . . for a very long time to come, and never again an opportunity to change their fate. They wasted their one shot!
You might question and ask, “Don’t you believe in grace, mercy, forgiveness, repentance, and redemption?” I would reply with assurance of my faith in those wonderful things, and declare that I am, in fact, a recipient of those virtues/gifts. Yet, I would also tell you that I firmly believe that God will honor in eternity the decisions one makes in this life . . . and in His grace and mercy, He permits folks to carry those decisions into the next life—He never imposes Himself upon us.
May I ask a couple of questions?
- Are you living reckless? and
- Have you reckoned what the consequences might be for living in such manner?