While I walked away from the train platform, 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. On my way to the park, I passed several people and wondered if I should stop and talk to them about getting tickets to Glory. I decided to not stop, but proceeded to the park.
I got to the park and looked around. Seeing a man sitting by himself on a bench. I went up to him and asked, “Mind if I sit on the bench?”
In a somewhat gruff voice, the man responded, “It’s not my bench. Besides, this is a free country.”
I sat down next to him somewhat reluctantly. Several times I tried to open a conversation with him, hoping we could get on the subject of the train and tickets. However, he was not much of a conversationalist — and I was very nervous and unsure of myself.
The man eventually got up and walked away without my having said anything to him that might have affected his life and his eternal destination. I felt disappointed in myself and wondered if I should just go back to the train platform and just wait for the train. I thought to mysef, “I better not do that, it might just make the station master angry.”
I got up from the bench and walked across the park to where I saw a small crowd gathered around someone. As I got closer, I saw that the man talking to the crowd was none other than the man who had given me my ticket to Glory. As he talked, 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 the man, he asked, obviously not remembering me, “Do you want a ticket?”
“You gave me one a while back, one day downtown,” was my response.
“Sorry,” he replied. “I give away so many tickets I can’t always remember everyone.”
“What are you doing in the park?”, the ticket man asked me.
I told him about going to the train station and talking with the station master who told me to leave the train platform and give away tickets.
I told him about 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 are not very good at giving out tickets, but there are lots of other things they can do.”
“Like what?”, I asked eagerly.
“Just for examples, they can help those who are good at giving away tickets, and they can help ticket holders understand what the ticket truly means. There are all sorts of things they can do.”
I didn’t want to seem dense to the man, but I was really curious what he was talking about, so I said, “Can you explain a little bit more about this?”
“Sure,” was his reply. “Getting the ticket to Glory is not the end of the story, it is just the beginning. Unfortunately, for too many ticket-holders that is not the case and they do not do anything other than clutch their ticket.”
He continued, “They hold onto their ticket real tight, thinking that is all they need. They are certainly correct in thinking that is all they need to get to Glory, but they fail to recognize that they are called to be something they have not been, and do some things they have not done, before they get on the train.”
“I think I am beginning to understand,” I told the man. “But who is it that helps the ticket holders be what they haven’t been and do what they haven’t done?”
“Other ticket holders who are doing what God wants to do in and through them,” he said.
“You don’t know how happy that makes me,” I replied with a very large smile. “Maybe that is what I am supposed to do!”
“Could be, and probably is,” the ticket man responded as he patted me on the back. And then he added, I know it is!”
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 giving me the assurance of spending eternity with you when it is time. You have given me that assurance by my accepting the free gift of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thank you, too, for leaving me on this side of eternity so that I can pursue knowing you, Jesus, and all you have for me to be and to do before it is time for me to step into eternity. I may not know all you have for me, but I ask you to help me in following every step of your lead while you show me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.