You're standing there in this long line of people stretching for miles and miles ahead of you, and similar longer distance behind you. All waiting to get into Heaven. You see the Pearly Gate in the horizon. It looks so tiny from this distance.
Ahead of you an Englishman murmurs to a Texan standing near him, "it's a long queue, don't you know? And it's moving slowly ... what?"
The Texan replies, "in America we call it a line, not a queue!"
"But we're not in America now, old boy," says the Englishman, "we're waiting to enter Heaven. Why is it taking so long?"
"Probably computer problems," informs his friend, "you know what it's like! New version of an old program. It was easier in the old days when St Peter had all our records in big tomes and a quill pen. The only way they can make this queue shorter is by asking people to stand closer to each other!"
You look again ahead and behind you. There are people of every race, every country and every religion it seems. People are speaking in different languages. You wonder whether St Peter at the Gate will understand them. He learned to speak every language at Pentecost. But now it's different. There are so many new languages and dialects and accents. Will he be able to understand that group from Glasgow over there? Not even the British can understand them.
Your mind wanders to your family. Your spouse, your children, siblings, parents, uncles and aunts and cousins. Where are they? you wonder. Ahead of you in the queue? Or behind you? Or are they in Heaven already? Or, God forbid, have they gone down without a parachute?
It would be awful if you are in Heaven and they are not.
Or, what if they are in Heaven and you are sent down to hotter climes?
You start thinking about your life. You were not exactly an angel were you? Remember that great argument you had with that family member? It wasn't your finest moment was it? If you think about it, you could have behaved better.
And your behaviour at work was not exemplary either, was it? Or your behaviour in life generally. With your spouse, your children, neighbours or colleagues. You may well have reasons, or excuses, to explain it all. But will St Peter see it this way? Or, more important, will God agree with your view of things?
You remember Christ's words, "‘Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do."
But what exactly did God want me to do? You ask yourself as you feel a cold seat on your brow.
Your mind starts to wander again about those homeless people you saw in the park regularly on your way home from work.
You remember that once some colleagues in the pub were joking about Christianity and mocking the very existence of God. And you stood there, saying nothing, sipping your beer quietly.
How about the way you dealt with your staff at work? Yes, there were targets to be met, and budgets and profits to be achieved. But did you need to behave that way towards your team? Was that leadership or what some would call tyranny?
Were you always gentle and kind towards those lesser able than you? Did you care and love your neighbour as your Lord commanded? Did you live as an example to be emulated or avoided?
In other words - were you Christ to other people?