Billy Graham had been struggling with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade when leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, decided to have a luncheon in his honor.
According to one article, Billy was reluctant to accept the invitation because of Parkinson’s and other age-related difficulties. Assured by the leaders that he wouldn’t have to give a ‘major address,’ he eventually agreed to attend.
A number of speakers offered eloquent accolades about Billy and eventually, after the applause hushed, he stood on the platform and began his address with:
“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train. The conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. He came to Einstein, who reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his pants pockets.
“It wasn’t there. He looked in his briefcase but the ticket wasn’t there. Then he looked in the seat beside him. Still, he couldn’t find it.
“The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.” Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.
“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’ Einstein looked at him and said, ‘Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.’”
Billy Graham continued his address, but here’s what he said that made all the difference:
“…when you hear I’m dead … I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am. I also know where I’m going. …Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point. May each of us have lived our lives so that when our ticket is punched we don’t have to worry about where we are going.”
If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation (believe He died on the cross to save you from your sins, believe He rose again from the dead and is now sitting on the right-hand of God the Father, and you’re living your life to glorify Him), then your ticket has been punched, as Billy Graham had said. Now, lead those to your right and left to get their tickets too!
If in your hand you hold an unpunched ticket, the decision you make in the next few minutes will determine whether you spend eternity in Heaven or hell.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31, NKJV)
retold story by Author eMarie)
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