On furlough, during my tenure as a missionary in Europe, shopping was one of the things I looked forward to. It wasn’t that Belgium didn’t have good stuff, it was just more fun to shop in familiar surroundings—more fun to buy my favorite things.
On one such occasion, I bought some underwear—three pairs of those skimpy things sealed up in a plastic bag. After I left the store, I realized that I had picked up the wrong size. When I returned, I explained to the little clerk that I had the wrong size and I needed to change them. I had the sales slip, and the package had not been opened.
“Well,” she said hesitantly. “I’ll need your I.D.”
Really? My I.D. for three pairs of panties?
“I don’t have a driver’s license,” I explained, “Because I don’t live here in the States, but I have something better than that,” and I whipped out my Passport.
Poor little clerk! She was totally confused. She had no idea what a Passport was. I can’t imagine what she would have done, if I had given her my Belgian driver’s license printed in French.
“I’m not sure I can take that,” she said. “I’ll have to get the manager.”
“Honey,” I replied. “This is the best identification in the world. Look there’s my photo. It says that I am a citizen of the United States of American. It gives my birthdate and the place where I was born.”
The manager was called, none the less, and I had to convince him, as well, that this was legitimate Identification.
My beloved brother, Paul, who just celebrated his 90th birthday, left home yesterday morning headed for Galveston, where he would board the boat, which would take him on his very first cruise.
Paul is very meticulous. He packed carefully. When questioned, he avowed that he had everything he needed. However, upon his arrival at the port, after looking everywhere, he discovered that he had forgotten his Passport. There was no way that he was going to board that ship without it.
At the moment, I am here in Fort Worth staying in his apartment. About 12:30 the phone rang. “I forgot my Passport,” my frustrated brother cried. “I need a copy of my birth certificate.”
After telling me where to find it, he said, “Now scan it, and send it to me.”
I hate like everything to admit this, but I don’t know how to do that. So, it was decided that I would take a picture with my camera, and text it to him. That I could do, and I did, but the copy wasn’t clear enough.
“You must do it again,” I was told. Some functionary was in the background giving directions.
I tried again, but I just couldn’t get it right. By then I was in tears. I didn’t want my brother to miss this adventure, and be stranded in Galveston. Finally, someone came to my rescue and bailed me out. Now he is on the high seas having the time of his life, I hope.
I am amused, I guess, at the fact that my Passport I.D. was not good enough to exchange a pair of underwear, but for my brother things came to an absolute standstill until he had the information that was on that Passport.
Living in Europe and traveling in far off parts of this world helped me to realize just how indispensable proper identification is. My American Passport has taken me to places like Tajikistan, India, Turkey, Norway, The Netherlands, Andorra, South Africa, Spain and Liechtenstein—places I could never have entered without the right Identification.
I notice that on my passport there is an official seal with our Bald Eagle, and “United State of America” printed under it. My passport would be worthless without that seal. On the inside there are official stamps from all the countries I have passed through.
I will be 84 in December, and for the most part, though I hate to think it, my world travels have, pretty much, come to an end. However, I am looking forward to one last trip, the trip of a lifetime, an “out of this world trip,” literally out of this world.
One day the heavens will resound with the blast of a trumpet, and the Lord will say, “Come go with me to my Father’s house.”
I am getting ready for that trip, but I cannot go without the proper identification. It will not be a little blue book with the official seal of the United State of America stamped on it. My identification for that trip will, instead, be God’s official “SEAL OF APPROVAL” on my life.
Ephesians 1:13 tells us about this seal. “In Him you…after believing in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
That same verse, in the Living Bible, says, “…all of you…who trusted in Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit…”
Do you have God’s seal of approval on your life? Have you trusted in Him? Have you been marked as belonging to Christ? Are you getting ready for the trip of a lifetime?
Will you go with me to OUR FATHER’S HOUSE?
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!