2. The First Steps

As I walked away from the train station, I had the recurring urge to look back. Each time I did, the station master was waving to me as if to say, “Be on your way.” I eventually stopped looking back. 

I walked towards the city park a few blocks away. I passed several people and wondered if I should stop and tell them about the tickets to glory. I had no idea what I would say, so I decided against it. 

At the park I saw a man sitting alone on a bench. “Mind if I join you?” I asked. 

In a gruff voice, he responded, “It’s not my bench. Besides, this is a free country.” 

I sat down reluctantly. Several times I tried to open a conversation, hoping we could get on the subject of the train and tickets. But he was not much of a talker, and I was very nervous and unsure of myself. 

The man eventually got up and walked away. I hadn’t said anything that might affect his life and eternal destination. I felt disappointed in myself. Should I just go back to the station and wait for the train? “I better not,” I thought to myself. “It might disappoint the station master.” 

I wandered across the park feeling pretty dejected. I saw a small crowd gathered around someone. As I got closer, I saw that it was none other than the man who had given me my ticket. As he spoke, more and more people asked him for a ticket. 

“Oh, I wish I could be like that man” was the thought running through my head. When the crowd had dispersed and I was left alone with him, he asked, “Do you want a ticket?”  

“You gave me one a while back, downtown,” I responded. 

“Sorry,” he replied. “I give away so many that I can’t always remember everyone. What are you doing in the park?” he asked. 

I told him about going to the train station and talking with the station master. Then I described my experience with the man on the bench and how I felt like a failure. 

“There are no failures among those who have tickets,” was his quick response. “Some may feel like failures because they aren’t comfortable meeting people and explaining the tickets. But there are lots of other things they can do.” 

“Like what?” I asked eagerly. 

“In the first place,” he said, “People who give out tickets need lots of support. Other ticket holders can help in many ways. And as the station master told you, there is a great need for people to help others understand what the ticket means. That is a vital role for all ticket holders.”

“Bottom line is this: if you are open to seeing, God will show you all sorts of things you can do while waiting for the train.” 

My curiosity was growing. “Can you explain more about this?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said. “Getting the ticket to glory is just the beginning. Unfortunately, too many ticket holders don’t do anything but clutch their own ticket. They hold it real tight, thinking that is all they need. It is all they need to get to glory, but they fail to recognize that they are called to be something they have never been and do things they have never done, before they get on the train.” 

“I think I’m beginning to understand,” I said. “But who helps the ticket holders understand?” 

“Other ticket holders who are doing what God wants to do in and through them,” he replied. 

“You don’t know how happy this makes me,” I said with a very large smile. “Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to do!” 

“Could be, and probably is,” the ticket man responded. Then he patted me on the back and added, “In fact, I’m sure it is!” 


Bible verses to consider: 

He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12 

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your free and gracious gift of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thank you I know where I am going when I board the train. Thank you, too, for the life you have given me to live while I wait for the train. As you know, I am at times uncertain what you intend for that life to be. I need your help in knowing how to follow your lead as you take me to where you want me to be. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Think on this: We are all called to be and do what God has for us. We are to help others be who God intends them to be. It is a matter of being available to God. Are you as available as you want? If no, what more would you like to be doing? Do you know how? 

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