Never Too Late

3 01 2016

Two things could be said for old Sammy; the man could play guitar like he Rock _nwas born with one in his hand and if there wasn’t a party wherever he showed up, there would be 5 minutes after he arrived. Yes everyone loved Sammy because he was a lot a fun to be around, humorous and never knew what a dull moment looked like. As a musician he probably ranks as one of the top guitar players I ever worked with. He not only brought incredible talent to the stage, he also was a high energy performer whose persona was electric to the audience as well as fellow band members. I didn’t work with Sammy long but during the time I did I really liked him, even though he’d kid me often about being a “Christian.”

I can’t say he had a disdain toward Christians, but he always had a joke about them when I was around. Ones like “Hey Miller, I heard when Jesus stays at a hotel he gives 3 nails to the clerk and says, ‘Can you put me up for the night?’” I would just smile and say nothing because I knew later he’d come and say “Now I was kidding with you, don’t take me serious. I think it’s great you believe the way you do.” And I truly believed he meant it, but he was also quick to let you know it was okay for you, but it wasn’t for him.

Sammy’s path and mine didn’t cross long, another band picked him up and within months they were opening for a well known country music act. I wasn’t surprised and figured Sammy was on his way to the top; he was just too talented and too likable not to make it, nothing could stop him was my thought. But we just don’t know what tomorrow brings, do we?

A couple of years passed and I ran into another fellow musician who also happened to be a Christian. “Have you heard about Sammy?” He questioned. “No, why, is something up?” “He’s in the latter stages of liver cancer.” The words were like a spear to the heart. No, not Sammy, he was too full of life to have this happen I thought. But something even more concerned me, and my friend read it on my face. “John I spent over an hour with Sammy letting him know how much God loved him and assuring him from the word that Christ was ready to accept him so that he could be with him in heaven.” “And he made a decision?” I questioned. Sadly he shook his head and said, “All Sammy said over and over was he’s done too many bad things and it’s too late now anyway.” If the first words about the cancer wounded me, these were tearing me apart. Sammy had heard it all before and believed according to one telling me about his condition. Still he could not believe that God would want him after the way he lived his life. That friends and family is what I call the greatest lie in the universe. God’s love for us is so strong He will do all there is to lead, pull or drag someone into heaven.

Hey, don’t take my word, take His: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

“For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

Once again from my man C.S. Lewis: “God became man to turn creatures into sons; not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.”

Okay, I know I’ve preached more than I’ve told a story today. But you see, just like Sammy, each and every one of you “Travelers of the Rock Road” is important to me, as you are to God. So important that the Lord placed it on my heart to start the New Year with this thought–this truth about His love. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to turn to Him. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, what you might think, He won’t turn you away. That’s the love of a Father, through Christ. “As a father is kind to his children, so the Lord is kind to those who honor him” (Psalm 103:13GNT)

I never heard anymore on Sammy, but I do know our mutual friend was heading back to Nashville to give it another go, and another if he had to. The way he sees it (his words, not mine), if Sammy’s good enough for God, he’s good enough for him. Don’t you just love that attitude?!!!

Have a wonderful and blessed 2016, Friends and Family. See ya next time.


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One response

5 01 2016
Beverly Crane

I read your story last night and I woke up this morning thinking about Sammy. I thought “this poor man and how many other people there are just like him”. I love your stories and they always leave me thinking, but most of all thankful for our God. Thank you John. I wish you and your family a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

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