It was getting close to lunch time and I was hungry. I asked the ticket man if he would like to go get a bite to eat. He said he did and knew of a great little spot just around the corner called “12 Baskets.”
“That is kind of an unusual name, do they have a lot of baskets?” I asked.
“The name has to do with the baskets of bread that were left over after Jesus fed a whole bunch of people a long time ago,” was his response. He added, “It is the place of choice to eat for lots of ticket holders.”
“Lead the way,” I said.
As we entered the cafe, the ticket man nodded his greeting to several people he obviously recognized, but he seemed to be looking for a particular person as he kept looking around the room where we were seated.
“You seem to be looking for someone. Are you supposed to meet him or her here?” I asked with a little disappointment.
“No, I am not supposed to meet him, but I was hoping he would be here so I could introduce you to him,” was his response.
The ticket man added, “I think he may be able to help you with some of the questions you have about the ticket and what it means.”
We ordered our lunch and engaged in some small talk while we ate. I had so many questions I wanted to ask the ticket man, but just didn’t know where to start.
About half way through our meal, the ticket man looked up and said “There he is. There is the fellow I want you to meet.”
The ticket man waved at him and he came over to the table. I was introduced, and the ticket man explained to him that I was a fairly new ticket holder and had lots of questions.
“Be glad to help in anyway I can,” said the gentleman. “Stop by my table when you are done and we can talk.”
“Thank you very much,” I replied. “I will be over in a few minutes.”
The ticket man and I finished our lunch and he said “Sorry to eat and run, but I need to get back to the park.”
“And I need to get over and talk with your friend,” I said. “Thank you for your time; I really appreciate being able to spend this time with you.”
“My pleasure,” he said as he got up to leave.
I looked around to see where the gentleman was seated. He saw me and motioned me to come over. I headed over towards his table, not knowing that would be the beginning of an amazing journey for me.
I sat down, stuck out my hand, and said, “I am sorry, but I did not catch your name when we were introduced.”
“You can call me Stan,” was his response.
Stan began our conversation, “How do you happen to be here today?”
I told him about the train platform and the park. “All that is happening to me is new and foreign. I don’t really know what is going on.”
He nodded knowingly with a kind smile. “When I first got my ticket, I had no idea what it meant or what I was supposed to do with it,” he told me. “I didn’t go to the train station as you did, but I simply did not know what to do or where to go.”
Somewhat innocently, I asked him, “Did you ever find out?”
“Oh, yeah,” he responded with a big smile. “Some very kind ticket holders who had been down the same road took time out of their busy lives to help me.”
He added, “They were so kind and helpful that I decided to spend my life doing the same.”
With a somewhat solemn look, he said to me, “Are you interested in finding out what this ticket is all about?”
“Absolutely,” I replied. And so it began.
Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for new beginnings. Thank you for your provision of your people to help others understand what it is you may have for them. I want all you have for me. I know you will show me your way and that you will lead me as I choose to follow. Amen.