Just before my 16th birthday, I had what has been the most profound spiritual experience so far. It was during the Senior Four vacation when my parents sent me to join my cousins in taking care of a paternal aunt who was bedridden. At the time, my family had been living in Mbarara town for seven years and I had been studying at a boarding school in Bushenyi district for the same number of years. So you can imagine what kind of excitement filled my heart when I learnt that I would be spending part of my vacation in KAMPALA!!! I guess those who were raised in a city are thinking, “What is the big deal?” My friend! Every time we took a trip to Kampala for anything we hardly slept the night before. We would pack our clothes, bathe thoroughly and generally be at the best of our behavior lest the trip was cancelled. Those who never liked vaseline would definitely use it on those epic occasions!
Anyway, the home I was sent to was in Mbuya Barracks, a housing estate with lots of little houses back to back. Because our host was a little high in the army ranks, we were lucky to be staying in the more “up class” residences in comparison to the surrounding uni-ports that housed even bigger families. We were a full family of at least four adults and seven children living in there. With a bedridden patient fully occupying the little second bedroom and the heads of the home in the other, the rest of us spent the nights in the already packed sitting room. That was life but I was happy to be in Kampala! Even with the accelerated practicals in nursing and adjusting to the new environment, it was still an exciting adventure.
It probably was a combination of fatigue, mosquitoes and I do not know what else but at some point, the person who had been sent to be a nurse fell sick too! I remember lying down on a mat at the back of the house next to a sigiri (charcoal stove) in the hot sun having bled so much through the nose into a basin of water. I was aware of the activity around me but it all felt so far away!
Then; something began to happen. The world around me began to spin – at first slowly, then faster and faster and faster! And as it did my head grew lighter and lighter and lighter. I imagined this is what fainting felt like. If I had been standing, I probably would have fallen down like a sack of potatoes! Before I knew it, I felt myself begin to lift off the ground at first slowly then real quick into a space far above the earth, which became smaller and smaller and smaller in my eyes. What is happening to me? I wondered. I absolutely had no control of what was going on. I was aware that my body was lying on the back verandah floor but then a part of me had left to go somewhere I was yet to find out. Is this what it feels like when people are dying?
Then from far above the earth I saw what the spinning was doing. With tornado-like power, the earth was being rolled like a mat! Wwhhhaa! Wwhhhaa! Wwhhaaa! Everything on the earth – trees, cars, and houses; everything was being rolled away with the “mat”. On the underside of the “mat” I could see humongous volumes of soil.
Okay!!! Is this the end of the world? I continued to wonder. I then found myself walking in a quite mature forest with many other people. There were two lines of people – one to my left and another to my right. It was intensely quiet. The only sound one could hear was the crackling of the dry leaves under the feet of the people as they marched on.”Kwaa, Kwaa, Kwaa!” Jesus! What is happening? I turned to the people to my right and to my left asking; “Where are we? What’s going on? Where are we going?” No one answered. All their eyes were fixed ahead of them marching to wherever it is we were going. As I turned my own eyes to look ahead like everyone else, I could see far ahead something that made very clear what was happening; We were going to stand before the throne of Christ, each to give an account for their own lives. And then just as suddenly as it had all began the out of body experience ended.
22 years have passed since that happened but it left a permanent mark on my life, an imprint that will stay with me as long as I shall live. I had only read about it in the bible and now I had just lived it out for a few seconds. Every one of us will stand before Christ to give an account for the life we have been given here on earth. What will it be like when that time comes? Now of course at the time I had not encountered the amazing grace of God so I spent the next 13 years striving to make sure that when that day comes I would be found worthy! That is another long story to be told on another day!!! Today, I know that God loves me with no strings attached and that my works do not validate me before Him. However, I still live with an intense awareness that at the end my life – whether it be 70 years, 80 or more, I will give an account for how I lived. It had better count!
Every one of us goes through a definitive moment in life that gets us to wonder what our lives are about. You survive a car accident, almost lose your life on an operation table, or go through burglaries. Some of us have had their bodies violated, lost one or both parents, or diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The moment when we inherit lots of wealth and the pursuit of money ceases to be the main point of life, or miraculously pass key exams. We experience unexplained rapid career growth, great success in business or recurring dreams and significant prophetic words. All these distinctive moments, also referred to as kairos moments bring us to a place of questioning and searching whether there is more to life as we know it and what we do with these moments greatly matters.
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom”
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”
# YOU HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE. MAKE IT COUNT!