Sometimes it’s the simplest of true stories that speak with the most power. One such story concerns a man who bought an extremely expensive ticket on a long-distance train journey. The journey was in effect a holiday all by itself as the train was luxurious – including the food in the dining carriages. But because the passenger had spent all his money on his ticket, he did not feel confident to join the diners and enjoy what was obviously very expensive food. Instead he fed himself on broken crackers, rather like a parent bringing in their own children’s snacks to a cinema having forked out a fortune for movie tickets, wondering if they’ve accidentally bought the film itself.
One day, while gazing at the opulent dining carriage and munching on his crackers, the passenger was approached by a puzzled train guard. The guard pointed out to the amazed passenger that, as he had a ticket for the journey, he was entitled to join the dining car and eat for free! One reason for the ticket’s expense was that, unlike a cinema (sadly), the dining was part of an ‘all inclusive’ travelling experience. It’s fair to say that for our passenger, the remainder of the journey was far more pleasant than the first part.
Sometimes as Christians we journey through life without any realisation of our rights of travel. We identify ourselves correctly as passengers, but we do not always appreciate what we inherit as a ticket-holder. True, the Christian life contains many challenges and real sacrifices. But we are not called to do these things in our strength. God has prepared a wedding banquet for His children and in the meantime provides us with all the spiritual sustenance we need, if we will but recognise we are entitled to dine.
Your journey with Jesus is ‘all-inclusive’. Why not travel in its joys as well as its responsibilities? Anything less is surely crackers.