The Ticket

Micah clutched the ticket as if he would never let go.  I had placed this precious blue ticket in my youngest grandson’s hand as we rode the train back home.  It was our round trip ticket to Boston.  I told him he could keep it to remember the day.  Micah had just handed it to the conductor, who punched holes in the ticket and gave it back to him.  Today my husband and I, along with our youngest daughter and her two children, boarded a train to the city in order to visit the magnificent New England Aquarium.  I don’t know which was more exciting – the train ride or the aquarium.  Both were awe-inspiring to Micah.

Earlier this morning Micah, who just turned two, sat in his crib upon awakening and began talking to himself about his upcoming train ride.  “Choo-choo” he shouted out – and continued talking about seeing the conductor and going into the city of Boston.  He knew we were either riding to the city of Boston, or to the North Pole.  He discussed both.

The whole ride was filled with wonder.  We heard the whistle, we watched the comings and goings of the people and noticed the scenery go by.  We marveled at the conductor walking through the train punching tickets. The conductor, through our grandson’s eyes, had the “coolest job” in the entire world.

And then, after a train change, we arrived at our destination.  We saw sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, sharks and myriads of underwater sea creatures.  I felt, as I observed these countless creatures the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 1:20

    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

As I further watched the intricacies of these mysteries of the deep the scripture in Psalm 104:24-31 came to life.

How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond  number–living things both large and small.

There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.

When you give it to them, they gather it up;  when you open your hand,  they are satisfied with good things.

When you hide your face, they are terrified;  when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.

When you send your Spirit,  they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;  may the Lord rejoice in his works–

The little blue train ticket had allowed us to travel to the place where we could see such a vast array of God’s handiwork.

I thought of an illustration about learning the Bible that Douglas Jacoby one time shared.  I’m sure this is not an accurate rendition, but the premise is this:

When we first come in contact with the Bible it can be like the first time we see the ocean and think – wow, this is amazing!  Then, we begin to read the scriptures and it is like hearing the waves breaking and feeling the splash of the water on our skin.  We then take our study of the Word even deeper and it is like putting our feet in the water, tasting its saltiness and feeling the surge of the tide propelling us.  We might then take our study deeper and it is like  riding the waves and having them crash over us.  We may think we are quite familiar with the ocean (and the scriptures), and still  have yet to discover the vast and intricate wonders that live beneath the surface.

This is something of what learning the Bible is like.

This evening my daughter sent me a text which read, “(Micah) Took a nap w his ticket; his ticket ate w us, it has not left his hand for over an hour!!! I think he had a special day.”

She later sent this picture  of him with his bedtime bottle.  His blue ticket was still tightly clutched within his little hand.

I pray that my eagerness and love for the Word of God, as it leads to many wonders,  may always capture my heart in a way much like the blue train ticket (which led to many wonders),  captured the heart of my grandson.

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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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