Maybe I spend too much time alone. Why else would some of the random thoughts I have pop into my mind. For example, I recently experienced the tune and lyrics of Eddie Money’s Two Tickets to Paradise running through my head and in my Christian worldview filter at the same time. Two tickets? How’d he manage that? What I know of the Bible tells me that we each get one ticket to our heavenly home, and it is punched by Jesus Christ Himself!
‘Ok,’ my wandering minds continues, ‘so where did he get those two tickets he’s singing about?’ ‘Did someone lose them, or possibly set them down and subsequently forget where?’
Then some of my bible study comes back to me. I remember that neither Elijah or Enoch of the Old Testament needed their ticket, as God whisked them into heaven before they suffered physical death. Maybe Mr. Money had some inside info and grabbed them up.
Usually, at about this point is my mental revelry, something will jolt me back to reality. I may be in my office, standing on a ladder with a paint brush in my hand or maybe just taking Violet for a walk, when I realize I’ve been on another rather silly goose chase through my convoluted thought process.
In this particular case, I was overjoyed to come back because I do know beyond any doubt that my one ticket to Paradise has already been purchased by the death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ. I know a heavenly dwelling awaits me. I don’t deserve it and certainly could never earn it. I simply thank God for His grace that covers all my sin!
Setting Eddie Money aside, let me tell you what brought on this latest journey through the recesses of my mind; where nooks and crannies contain the lyrics of hundreds of songs I have heard and seem to live on. You see, my brother-in-law, Stan, passed away several days ago from complications to exposure to Agent Orange during his tour in Vietnam. Having death hit so close to home must have activated the file containing ‘classics’ from my younger years.
Late last year, as his health took significant down turns, I made it a point to talk to him about faith. Stan was an extremely intelligent guy; being well read on a wide range of topics. He was opinionated, but he was always able to discuss/argue things reasonably. He seldom lost an argument because of his wealth of knowledge and uncanny memory.
Not surprisingly, Stan was well versed (pun intended) with the Christian Bible. We had had some discussions prior to this one I set out to have with him, but they were usually more fact-based with regards to events and time-lines in the Old Testament. Again, without fail Stan could pull out more dates, names and facts than me.
As a lover of Jesus who happens to be a pastor, I felt compelled to address the essence of salvation with my brother-in-law. Bracing myself with supporting scriptures, I brought up how we are saved by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus. Not really knowing what to expect, I awaited his response.
With a gentle smile, Stan thanked me for my concern. He then assured me that he had asked Jesus for forgiveness of his sins, believing that He was/is the Son of God and that His resurrection from the dead purchased his salvation.
Stan had his one ticket to Paradise.