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Life or Death Decision Making

A Completely Unscriptural Imagining of the Rapture

I live alone here in B.C. with Bubba, Auri, and Howie. Now that Bubba is gone, Howie sulks around my office in the barn and won’t leave my office where Bubba used to sleep. Today, however, was a strange one. I chose a Maiz Lager from the fridge and sat in my squeaky, cracked, green leather, rolling office chair. Then I noticed the Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle model on the floor under the shelf it had been sitting on. Luckily, it had landed on the acrylic base I fixed it to. Howie was lying beside my desk, his nose pointed at the ship’s model. Everything else on the shelf was fine. The only thing different up there was the rectangular footprint of the model in the coat of dust obscuring the shelf itself.

I stood there for a second and thought to myself, “Bubba always hated that model. Can’t count the number of times I caught him trying to push it aside so he could lie down.” I lifted the model to its place on the shelf and then thought. Hmmm, “I think I will take that down and put the picture of Bubba, Howie, and me up there. Maybe I’ll also put his favorite catnip mouse there. That way, I will always remember that cat-that-thought-he-was-a-people.”

Bubba the Legendary Cat.

On Sunday, I came into the office after cleaning stalls to get a beer and noticed the catnip mouse was gone from my Bubba shrine, and there was a “very real” dead mouse on my desk. A line of dusty cat-prints led to the edge, and Howie was nowhere to be seen.

I sat in my chair and leaned as far back as I could, allowing the wheels to coast back to the wall under the window, and tried to think of where Howie might have gone. He’s always in the office like clockwork for his morning bowl of crunchies and the occasional treat. I finished the beer and stepped out into the barn proper. A row of horses stood staring back at me. Which in itself was weird, as most Sundays they are chilling in their stalls. I stared back at them and couldn’t help but vocalize, “What?! What’s with the spooky stares?” But, all I got was a couple of humpfs from my personal horse, George, who was looking me square in the eyes. The silent stares of five horses sent chills over my back and arms. I hate goosebumps!

I forced myself out of George’s mesmerizing gaze and called Howie as I walked towards the barn doors.

When I opened the doors, I was confronted with a scene straight out of the Bible. I don’t know much about that book besides the stories everyone memorized as a kid. But standing there ten feet from the doors were Bubba, Auri, and Howie. However, Bubba was glowing and see-through…transparent? What the heck?

Welcome to the Animal Exodus.

Then I heard the sound of feet scuffling and looked up. Coming across the yard was a Kodiak bear and her cubs, a badger, and a beaver with her babies on her back. Next came a pack of dogs and house cats mixed together. A couple of the cats riding on the backs of the larger dogs, Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, and such. It only grew from there. Deer, elk, and moose came around the sides of the main house in a tidal wave, with hundreds of little creatures of every species weaving their way through the legs and hooves of the larger animals.

As the Kodiak passed me, I could have sworn she looked at me, winked, and gave me a nod. That’s when I noticed that every one of these animals was smiling. And a few of the cats even waved to me.

“What the bloody hell is going on here, Bubba?” I yelled over the sound of hundreds of animals parading through my yard.

Bubba slinked up to me, followed by my other cat, Auri. Then he jumped up into my arms and said, “You need to follow me to Jacob Polit’s ranch, Papa…if you want to live. And, go let the horses out.” So I turned and went back inside the barn and unlatched each stall. Every one of the horses looked me in the eyes and smiled as they walked out of the barn.

Bubba jumped down, walked over to Howie, and tagged him on the chest. Howie looked at me and nodded in the direction all the animals were headed.

I had nothing to do that afternoon and followed as if I were in a dream. I found myself walking down the road, holding onto the shoulder fur of the Kodiak as Bubba was sitting right between the bear’s shoulders. I realized Bubba was guiding all these animals to Jacob’s ranch.

Jacob Polit’s Ranch, an Ark without a Boat.

Eventually, we arrived at Jacob’s ranch. It wasn’t more than a mile from my farm, but it seemed it took forever for this huge crowd of animals to make its way there. As we walked onto the ranch, I could see old man Jacob and his wife, Emily, sitting in their rockers with at least thirty cats, bobcats, and a couple of mountain lions arranged on his porch. 

As I was gawking at this sight, Bubba walked up my arm, perched on my shoulder, and said, “You have a life or death decision to make here, Papa. You see, you Humans aren’t the only ones that will participate in the Rapture of the Saints. We’ve always known when it was going to happen. That’s why we’re all here. There are only fifteen minutes left for us furry ones — as you liked to call us — until the trumpet calls us home. So, that’s the decision you need to make. You, humans, need to declare Jesus as your life’s Lord. Or, you are going to be standing here by yourself in about fourteen minutes.”

I turned and looked at all the animals, now sitting or standing patiently, and had to admit Bubba wasn’t spinning some crazy story. I’d heard about this Rapture story but always thought it was one of those crazy Christian things that made them so weird. But something inside of me thought that the Rapture was cruel. What about all the people who have never heard about Jesus? What about me? Do I call out His name, or do I stay to prove a point that I’m stubborn?

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

“Hello, David.” Old Man Jacob was standing next to me. The two mountain lions were acting as bodyguards parting the sea of animals. “You should realize that you are getting special treatment from The Lord. Most people never get to see the supernatural played out so dramatically. As you can see, Heaven and Jesus are real. And, as an extra special bonus, Jesus wanted me to tell you that your whole family including your wife are there waiting for you to make the right choice.”

That was when Howie jumped up and put his paws on my hip and said, “If you don’t make the right choice, I’m going to kick your butt.”

SBy now, all the animals and Emily were standing there waiting for me to make up my mind.

“Okay! Jesus, I believe that you are real! How could I not with all this evidence in front of me? I want to be with Bubba, Howie, and Auri! Please take me with you!” I felt my heart breaking and joy flooding my mind and body, all simultaneously. All the animals started howling, barking, bleating, mooing, and yelling for joy.

Bubba, and now Auri, climbed up close to my head, and Bubba said, “Wait ’til you see what’s coming, Papa! You’re gonna love it.

According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15–18)

Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

AuthorDerek Hastings | BCWorldview.org 

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