During my sophomore college summer I returned home to Australia to work as a truck driver offsider. A church member, who owned a truck, hired me to assist him with his furniture delivery business.
Many details of that summer have slipped from memory, but not the choking lady. We were on the second floor of an apartment building where we had just delivered a large wall unit. She came down the stairs holding her throat, choking and with a look of panic in her eyes.
This was my first and last opportunity to practice the Heimlich maneuver. I believe it was the third time that I pulled my fists sharply up into her stomach that she gagged up a small plastic disk.
Why had she swallowed that plastic disk? Well, after putting her pills in the pill bottle cap, she had used the cap to throw the pills into her mouth. Unfortunately, the cap liner had followed the pills! That’s a choking hazard!
Jesus described another choking hazard. He said that worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth can choke God’s message about the kingdom, causing it to be ineffective (Matthew 13:22).
Like most people, we will typically be careful to prevent our small children from playing with choking hazards. So how well do we protect our children from gagging spiritually?
Kids are smart. As they listen to our reasons why we should select this career and not that one, or what we believe are the big goals in life, they learn our values. We can inoculate the next generation against choking hazards by emphasizing kingdom values.