“Good morning, sir. Where ya headed today?”
“Phoenix, through Dallas - four bags to check. Here’s our e-tickets.” As the skycap took our large suitcase and tickets, Connie took my suit bag over to the check-in area. I carried a box of assorted citrus. We all returned to the car at the same time, and he asked for our IDs. Connie took out her driver’s license as I lowered another box to the curb. It contained six centerpieces that she had decorated for the memorial service we were on our way to attend. I moved back to the tailgate of the Caddy and pushed our carry-on luggage to one side. Then I took out my billfold to retrieve my license.
I always keep it in the same spot in my tri-fold wallet, but it wasn’t there. Hmmmmm, must have put it in another spot. That’s odd. As I fumbled through each compartment at 5:10 in the morning, two anxious onlookers hovered over my right shoulder. As I continued my search, the skycap went back to his workstation to start the process, carrying the remaining box with him. Seconds seemed like hours, but it was not to be found.
Connie said, “It has to be there somewhere.” So I kept emptying and reloading each compartment. The results, however, were always the same.
“I can’t believe I don’t have my license. I don’t remember taking it out for anything.”
As I continued my quest, the skycap returned and said, “I’ll need some kind of government-issued picture ID, sir.”
“It’s in here somewhere,” I murmured, but the picture was clear.
Then Connie said, “You know, if I did this, you’d be yelling at me.”
“No, I wouldn’t,” I said, but I knew she was right. Then I added, “Right now, I’m too busy yelling at me.” Finally exasperated, I took out my Riverview High School picture ID and asked the skycap if that would work.
He said, “You got anything else?”
“I have a Voter Registration card and a fishing license, and here’s my Visa card with my picture on it.”
“OK, come on over here,” he said, as he walked toward his station. I followed like a humble sheep. I thought I had passed muster, so I handed him an ample tip; but then he said, “You’ll have to come inside with me, sir. Please hold onto your ID.”
“No problem!” I hoped. The automatic doors opened, and we walked towards the American Airlines ticket counter. He jumped over the end of the counter and landed facing the ticketing agent. She turned towards him and smiled.
Then he said, with eyebrows raised high, “It’s startin’ already. No ID!” Then they both turned and stared at me. I wanted to yell, “I’m old and I’m stupid,” but I said nothing. I already looked the part. I was guilty as charged.
Nevertheless, she asked for the ID I had shown the skycap, then re-ticketed me with a hard boarding pass that screamed, “Search me thoroughly!” It had a little green sticker on it that read, “No D.L.” Feeling like I had risen from the ashes, I offered my heartfelt gratitude, then I slinked away from the counter and drove the SUV to the long-term parking lot. Two minutes later, we boarded the bus for the ride to the terminal.
I was already exhausted, and the trip was just beginning. As the van chugged along in the dark, I drove down memory lane, but the streetlights were dim and the windows were shaded. I took several side streets and knocked on some familiar doors, but no one was home. All was for naught. I just couldn’t remember where I had left my license. As I rode the tram out to Airside F, I thought, What if I hadn’t have had any picture ID? I wouldn’t be going to Phoenix. But I am! Thank You Lord…
One day, we’ll all board the final flight that takes us from this life to the next. If you’re not sure about that, check out the obituary page in your local newspaper. If you don’t care about where you’re going, then you’ll need no special ID. According to the Scriptures, God already has a place called hell for you. The only ID you need to enter there is your own human nature. Just come, as you are, a person who doesn’t believe he is an enemy of God – a person who doesn’t see himself as a sinner in need of a Savior.
That may seem harsh, but God owns not only the airline, He owns both final ports of call. There are only two final destinations – heaven and hell. When you leave this life, you’re headed for one or the other, for God, the Creator and Sovereign ruler of the universe, has decreed it to be so. It is His right to do as He pleases, whether we like it or not.
As Lord of All, He has the right to make all the rules, but since He is a merciful God, He has given us a choice. If we accept His conditions, we end up in heaven. I think it’s a fair deal, and I have accepted it. I present it below for your consideration, and if you have not already taken Him up on His offer, I hope you will seriously consider it. Here it is:
Admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior.
Believe that God sent His Son to die for your sins.
Believe that Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, did die on the cross for your sins, was buried, then rose from the dead three days later to make you right with God.
If you can accept these terms, then God has a new ID to give you. He’ll see you holy and blameless through Jesus, and He’ll make you one of His own children. He’ll adopt you into His own family and give you an inheritance that will last forever in heaven. Then, when you arrive in heaven, there won’t be a skycap or ticket agent to ID you. Neither will Peter be at the gate, for Jesus will welcome you into glory. Your e-ticket is in God’s hands. All you have to do is ask Him for it. Have you the faith to receive it?
Mountain Time Moment
4 Long ago, even before he made the world,
God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.
6 So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us
because we belong to his dearly loved Son.