One of my favorite authors, Tony Campolo, tells this story:
The great Albert Einstein was on a train leaving Princeton Junction in New Jersey, heading north. When the conductor came to his seat, Einstein was unable to find his ticket. He searched through all of his pockets and looked in his briefcase, becoming extremely disturbed. The conductor tried to comfort him, saying, “Dr. Einstein, don’t worry about the ticket. I know who you are and you don’t have to present your ticket to me. I trust that you purchased a ticket.”
About twenty minutes later, the conductor came down the aisle of the train once again and saw Einstein, still searching wildly for the misplaced ticket. The conductor again said to him, “Dr. Einstein, please don’t worry about the ticket. I know who you are!”
Einstein stood and said in a gruff voice, “Young man, I know who I am, but I am trying to find my ticket because I want to know where I am going!”1
1Tony Campolo, Stories That Feed Your Soul, Regal Books, 2010.
I can identify with the poor professor! Sometimes I find myself passing Tracey’s desk in the church office and I can’t remember if I walking back to my desk or out to the library. Have you ever found yourself wondering if you are going up the stairs or coming back down?
So where are you going? I’m not talking about stairs or trains. I’m talking about something far more important. I’m talking about the ultimate destination. Some people may think that’s a silly question. “There is no ultimate destination. This is it. You’ve got to live in the now,” but I think that can be a little like the man who fell off a twenty-story building and was heard to say as he passed the tenth floor, “So far so good!”
Other people live in the past. A friend of mine is a famous Hollywood make-up artist. While she worked on films, later she discovered she could make a better living keeping famous celebrities looking like they never aged!
So Christian, I’d like you to pat your pockets, check in your wallet, look in your briefcase – do whatever you need to do to find that ticket that reminds you of your final destination.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life,” 1 John 5:13