Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ticket to Ride

We recently made our fourth trek to the magical world of Disney, and I am still a little dazed by all the pixie dust. While some might find the crowds of people and miles of walking a source of great annoyance, I am quite exhilarated with it all. (I'm also one of those crazy people who actually enjoys getting out and doing a little last minute shopping on Christmas Eve. Go figure.) My family adores all the sights and sounds (and smells and tastes!) that can be discovered at Mickey's wonderland. Oh, how we love to swim with Nemo, bounce with Tigger, sail on the Jungle Cruise, and shoot targets with Woody and Buzz. And then there's all the beautiful princesses that we get to meet and admire (mostly from afar...my girls get a little shy when faced with the real-life beauties). Just writing about it makes me want to go back. And possibly live there. Preferably in Cinderella's castle.

Our Disney week officially began bright and early Monday morning with the hustle and bustle of filling bags with snacks and water bottles, slathering sunscreen on every inch of exposed skin, and securely fastening our little Disney darlings into their Minnie Mouse strollers. We began our ten minute walk to the front gate of the Magic Kingdom with a sense of excitement and anticipation of all that the day would hold. As we joined people from all over the world and waited our turn to have our bags inspected by the friendly park authorities, my husband made a startling discovery. Something was missing from his Disney Dad lanyard.

And that something was my ticket.

No matter how many times he scrolled through his stack of cards, my ticket did not magically appear. So I immediately raced back to the hotel to procure the desired item. (Mainly because I am the "finder" in my sweet little family...if something goes missing, the Lord has gifted me with some sort of mommy radar that can track down anything from car keys to sippy cups to Barbie shoes.) I walked in the room, found my ticket, huffed and puffed back to the front gate, and waltzed through the turnstile.

The cold, hard fact is that I could not enter the most magical place on Earth without a ticket. Mickey doesn't care how many Disney princess songs I can sing on cue. He doesn't care how much I've spent on countless Disney movies that we watch over and over and over. In order to gain entrance to his world, I must purchase a ticket. I can't walk in using my husband's ticket or my daughter's ticket. I must have my own.

The same is true of heaven. When we pass from this life into the next, we do not automatically gain entrance into eternal life with the King of kings. We can't sweet talk our way through the pearly gates with a long list of all the wonderful things we did right. We can't coast in on the merits of our godly heritage. All roads do not lead to heaven. Jesus boldly declares in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (ESV) A price must be paid for you to have access to the perfection of paradise. But here's the catch.

YOU can't buy it. It's already paid in full.

Jesus purchased your redemption on a cruel cross. He didn't have the luxury of simply walking up to a ticket booth or finding a website with a great deal on admission. He was torn and beaten, spat upon and jeered at, pierced and judged...for crimes that He never committed. He bore the weight of my sin and your sin, and He endured unfathomable pain and anguish so that you and I could spend forever with the Lord of all creation. All we have to do is reach out and accept it.

So the question is...have you accepted the gift of salvation that Christ extends to you today? And if so, are you sharing His gift with those who have never heard?