Use Your Time Wisely
“Rick!” “Rick, are you up?” “It’s Nikos, Rick wake up.” “You need to come quick.”
Nikos was a tenant and friend that lived down the hall from my apartment. Rolling onto my side, I peered into the darkness in the direction of my desk. Not having my glasses, I still made out the fuzzy azure blue numbers of my digital alarm clock. I read 3:00 a.m. straight up. My mind returned from viewing the twilight mist, which is responsible for taking the weight off one’s day that hangs on the banks along the corridor where sleep meets wake, joining my body once again in the land of the living.
Still in bed, conscious thoughts began to divulge themselves to my mind. Speaking to myself I said, “Did Nikos lock himself out of his apartment?” “Did he leave his room key inside of his apartment?”
Continuing muttering to myself I said, “Nikos, you’re killing me!” “Don’t you know what time it is?” “What are you doing up so early in the morning?”
Turning on the bedroom light finding my glasses and dressing quickly, I scrambled out the front door. Upon seeing me, Nikos spoke with a tone not to upset the other residences and still being able to get the seriousness of his point across.
“Come quick!” “Buster’s apartment has smoke coming out through the screen from the living room window.”
Hearing this, adrenalin began to pour forth inside of me. My chest felt as if it was on fire. It was like hot molten lava covering everything in its direction of flow. Living on the first floor, I ran life a young stag to the stairs to climb for higher ground. Buster lived on the second floor. Nikos had arrived to Buster’s apartment door a moment before me. Years earlier, while I was a sophomore in high school I joined the local police department police explorer scouts post. Calling from memory, I began to recall fire emergency training I was taught. Taking charge of this crisis situation, I said, “Nikos, step away from the door.” “I am going to check the door and knob for heat.”
Touching first the door and then the handle, they both felt normal. Sliding my pass key into Buster’s front door lock I slowly opened Buster’s Oakwood front door. Recalling more instructions from my police explorer classes, I pushed the front door opened not exposing myself to the foray. I scanned the apartment rooms that were in plain site. The living room and kitchen appeared to be engulfed in smoke. I did not detect flames. Before entering into Buster’s residence I turned to tell Nikos my strategy plan. He was no where to be found.
Getting down on the ground, I crawled like a snake on my belly into the apartment. Once inside, I could distinguish Buster’s silhouette through layers of smoke. He was in the living room sitting in an old worn sofa style chair. His head was tilted back with his arms opened and apart resting. His palms were visible and appeared to be up on his lap. He appeared not to be alert.
I began to hear a low steady unfamiliar noise. Turning my attention away from Buster for a moment, I discerned that the noise and the source for the smoke were both coming from the same location, the kitchen. Moving still forward on my belly, I entered the kitchen area. I was correct. The starting place of the smoke, I discovered, was coming from the stove. Buster must have started boiling pasta in a kettle. It did not take a Lt. Colombo impersonator to apprehend the likely scenario. The mystery of the noodle caper was solved. The water began to evaporate the noodles began cling to the kettle’s metal bottom. Smoke was coming from the kettle once the water was gone.
I turned off the stove knob placing the kettle into the sink. Surprisingly, the kettle handle was not hot. Following this action, still on my belly, I quickly arrived into the living room to where Buster was sitting. Taking a hold of Buster, as taught as a police explorer, we exited the apartment together.
Once outside, tenants began to gather around Buster. It seemed Nikos had not abandoned me after all. He had left to dial 911 in order to arouse the fire department paramedics from their sleep too. Leaving Buster to the care of the paramedics, I returned home. Again I found myself beneath warm blankets laying in my bed which I had become so accustomed. This time, without further adieu, my body and mind rendezvoused. Together, traveling down the corridor and crossing where wake meets sleep they shared a vibrant journey to the land of the Sand Man, the land of Nod.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; observe its ways and be wise! It has no commander, overseer, or ruler, yet it prepares its food in the summer; it gathers at the harvest what it will eat. “How long, you sluggard, will you lie there? When will you rise from your sleep?” “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to relax and your poverty will come like a robber, and your need like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11
“A worthless and wicked person walks around saying perverse things; he winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, and points with his fingers; he plots evil with perverse thoughts in his heart, he spreads contention at all times.” “Therefore, his disaster will come suddenly; in an instant he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.” Proverbs 6:12-15
“And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.” Hebrews 9:27
“But you, dear friends – recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. For they said to you, “In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires.” These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating he mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life. And have mercy on those who waver; save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh. Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity.” “Amen.” Jude 1:17-25