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“We’ve been bumped!” I could hardly contain my excitement in May of 2006 when the airline that we were flying with told us that they would give my entire family of five free tickets to anywhere in the lower 48 states. They said it was for the inconvenience we would experience when they put us on another flight. We didn’t feel that inconvenienced when they told us, because it meant that we would have the opportunity to receive a free airline seat in the future.

There were a couple of stipulations however. First, we had to use the tickets within one year of receiving them, no exceptions. If we couldn’t use them they would lose their entire value after the year had expired. Second, the tickets are non-transferable. That basically means that if your name is on the voucher, that you are the only one that can receive a free seat within the specified time period.

My eldest daughter and I have already used ours, and it was exciting to fly while only paying an administrative fee of $20 each. But here’s the deal; my wife and our other two kids are the only ones that can fly for free now and time is running out. She’s handicapped and doesn’t want to travel alone. Problem is, I won’t have any vacation time until later this year. Think about it, there are three free tickets with family member’s names on them, and they will never be used. It’s kind of sad really.

Stakes are Much Higher

I’ve been striving to find a spiritual application to this unfortunate situation, and I think I’ve finally got one. I have to admit though, that the application I discovered is much more serious, and the stakes are much higher.

You see, each one of us has a ticket off this planet. Our eternal future has been offered to each us by the death of Jesus Christ. In essence, we’ve been “bumped” from death to eternal life. Sadly, there are those who will never “cash in” that ticket. They’re too busy to think about it, or too emotionally cluttered or prideful to say “I really want to take this trip.” Missing a free seat on a cross country flight is frustrating. Missing out on a trip into “forever” is tragic. If we haven’t planned on taking this heavenly “trip,” maybe it’s time to take another look at our eternal itinerary!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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