Life’s Lessons

You must provide the right credentials

For a number of reasons, and perhaps for no reason at all, I had wavered about actually going on the mission trip to Costa Rica. The appropriate paper work was all in place; required funds had been paid months previously, and yet I wasn’t convinced I should go.

Unwilling to forfeit airfare and other fees, I offered this trip to several others but no one could make it fit his or her schedule this near departure. Then, finally, three things happened or were said that told me I was to go. (I know I’ve mentioned before that God often speaks to me in threes. Here it was again.)

So, with only a couple of days to spare, I began the planning and packing.

Our outgoing flight was a 7 a.m. departure from Columbus airport. That required being at the airport by 5 a.m. Drive time from home would be about four hours because I needed to pick up my grandson, then allow time to park the car for the duration.

Somehow, that just didn’t compute, so I would drive to Columbus the day before and stay in a motel for that early flight. I knew several other team members were planning to do the same.

The next morning, somewhat rested though not very well as my grandson had kept the TV on all night, we caught the shuttle to the airport – the first team members to arrive. But soon the whole group was assembled and we began our registration process.

I don’t handle those convenient do-it-yourself registration things real well. Also, I would need wheelchair service due to the vast amount of walking required, so I went to the registration where you actually talk to a real, live person.

Confidently, I handed her my passport.

Just as confidently, she very kindly told me she couldn’t use it, as it was out of date and had been canceled.

OOPS! I had even looked at it when I took it out of the drawer, read the dates, and saw what I expected to see instead of what it actually had printed!

“Could you use a copy? I have that.” The answer was no – she had to have the actual passport in hand.

After these many years of taking youth and other adults with me, always asking before we traveled to the airport, “Do you have your passport?”, I was the one in passport trouble.

There was only one thing to do – drive home and get the current document. The attendant at the desk proceeded to change my flight reservations to the next day saying, “There, you’re all set – same flight tomorrow!”

I watched the team leave for their gate and got a ride back to my car. At the motel, I explained my situation and was given the same room for that night. Then, I got in the car, drove home, got the right passport, and returned to Columbus.

I am reminded that I will not gain entrance into heaven at the end of life’s journey unless I have placed my trust in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for my sins. His blood is my passport into heaven. No, a copy won’t do. It must be the real thing!

But getting that passport is so simple – just simply believing in Him. Do you?

You must provide the right credentials