Hi, my name is Duane Curry, and I am a Tampa Bay Bucs fan – sorry can’t help it. I have been since I was kid, a product of growing up in Southwest Florida I guess. Every season you hold out hope … and most seasons, let’s be honest, don’t quite meet our expectations ~ but I can’t help it, I love football. This season I was blessed to go the Washington Redskins game for free – Thank you Jesus! Actually, my brother-in-law, Matt, was given the tickets … so gotta thank him too.
Game day came, and we headed to the stadium. Not being extremely familiar with parking at the stadium, we parked on the opposite side of the stadium in relation to our entrance Gate. The line was slightly ridiculous, but who was I to complain ~ the tickets were free! I was anxious to get in and watch the game and after waiting in line for what seemed like forever, the moment of truth arrived. We handed our tickets over and … “I’m sorry, something is wrong, let me get my supervisor.”
Instantly my heart sank. My mind was racing ~ we aren’t the season ticket holders! Our friends gave them to us, but without the right ID they won’t let us in! What are we gonna do? The game is starting in less than 20 minutes!
The Supervisor came back, “Sorry, you are going to have to go to Will Call and talk with someone there” – uggh! So we made the trek to the other side of the stadium (the side where we parked) and waited in another slightly more ridiculous line. In the meantime we had called the ticket owners, they provided us with information to validate the tickets if needed, which gave us a bit more confidence.
While we waited in line for Will Call, we got to “experience” a frustrated crowd awaiting their tickets for the 4:15 game, some of which had been enjoying a few too many adult beverages during the wait – reminded me of days gone by ~ thank you Jesus for showing me a different way for my life … haha. Best part was almost getting in the middle of a fight (literally, guys on either side of us) - thankfully just moments before fists went flying, police arrived to escort the gentlemen to a “different” line. I had visions of the morning headline, “Local pastor arrested in drunken brawl” – fun times!
We got to the front of the line, explained the situation, and provide authentication from the ticket owners … and in 30 seconds, had tickets in hand. Once we proved our “right” to the tickets we were given access immediately. I had questioned our ability to go to the game, because I wasn’t confident in our “right” to go. I wasn’t sure if the tickets we had were valid ~ since I hadn’t paid for them. I wonder how closely my experience with a football game, resembles those of us with “tickets” to heaven?
If I had to guess, I think many of us question whether our “tickets” to heaven are good. If the choices I have made have somehow invalidated their worth? That simply isn’t the case. The Bible says I will never leave you nor forsake you ~ That I will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. My prayer for you today is that you would not lose your confidence in Christ ~ that you are a son or daughter of the most high God, and your tickets are definitely good!My other prayer is for those yet to claim their tickets ~ the real owner, Jesus Christ, has bought and paid for them with a price, all we have to do is accept His free gift. Jesus said, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except through me”. Are your tickets still at Will Call? If so, they are only a prayer away ~