Recently, my brother graduated from the Air Force as a pilot trainer. My husband, son and I drove from Atlanta to Oklahoma to witness him receive his wings. After driving 12 hours, I noticed that I didn’t have my current license with me. Instead, I had an expired one. I had switched purses the night before and the current one fell out and was left behind.
We approached the gate and I did everything in my power to prove my identity (along with being on the list of guest for my brother), I provided my social security card and my expired license. I was able to get in. I entered the base like this for the next 2 days without incident, until the night before I was scheduled to leave.
My husband and I left the base to go get a burger, leaving my son at my brothers base housing with the rest of my family. The plan was to watch movies with my nieces and play cards with my brother while we ate our burgers. As we pulled back up to the gate, we both pulled out our identification cards, and in my case, also my social security card, and we drove forward with full confidence and empty stomachs. We handed the information to the new guy on shift and waited, and waited and waited. The young recruit came to the window and said that my husband was free to go but that I could no longer be on the base. Say whatttttt?!!! We pulled our vehicle to the back of the building where the cars having issues have to park and I walked over to the building so that I could try to get to the bottom of this. I was hungry, tired and unsure of what was happening.
The guy saw me approaching and came out of his little box to approach me.. I said, “Ok whats going on here?” he responded by telling me that I was not on the list and that my id was expired so he could not let me enter. I was in shock. ” I have been here all weekend, what do you mean? what list are you looking at?” He said “Ma’am you cant enter you need to leave the base because you being here with an expired id is a felony and i could write that up right now!” My jaw hit the floor. “What? How am I just now committing a felony when I have been here all weekend?” I proceeded to tell him that I have a current id card and that I know for a fact that I am on the list. He refused to look again (he had “looked” three times before). I still don’t know what list he was looking at, because I was on it. He told me there was no way to look my id up in the system to verify that I was current so I was out of luck!
So, because I am saved and my attitude has undergone an overhaul, I did not want to deal with this man the way I would have formerly, plus….the way my life is set up, I was not in the mood for going to a military jail in a country town of Oklahoma….nah I’m good on that! He allowed my husband to go on base to collect our belongings and my son, while I stood in the grassy area of the gated entrance waiting for him to pick me up. We were being forced to head back to Atlanta that evening with no rest. We finally got it arranged to switch places with my parents and take their hotel room while they stayed the night at my brothers base housing. While I waited for my husband, the gate keepers had a shift change. The new guy was briefed on the situation with the crazy lady in the grass that was crying and getting attacked by bugs. He came over to me, he apologized for the way the previous guy handled me. He invited me inside to wait for my husband. I stood against the wall feeling completely violated and mistreated and then…a girl that was there for all of it, advised me that she had looked me up and told me that I did in fact have a current id (I know, that’s what I told you guys) and that I was in fact on the list (I know, I also told you that) but that I still couldn’t get on base because I did not have my actual current id with me. Now I became upset again. I felt like I just could not win. I told them who I was, they didn’t believe me, they found out who i was but it still wasn’t good enough and yet again I’m crying and upset. “Just let me leave, I don’t event want to be here anymore” I said. Then the nice guy came to me and advised me that he spoke to his superior and told him everything and that they were going to allow me on for that one night but I had to leave all of my id with them and retrieve it in the morning.
After all of this, it dawned on me. We as believers, walk around and claim we are the true children of God, the co-heirs to the kingdom, but only when it’s convenient. Have you ever used your id to impress a fellow male/female believer in order to date them? How about to do “ministry” but were really only seeking the love offering or merchandise sales as opposed to doing the actual mission? How many times as Christians, do we claim we are followers of Christ, but don’t have the id to prove it? Did you have the id but it is now expired from inactivity? How many times have you used the id simply for the status, the discount or the entry to some cool workshop, concert or conference? Well let’s hope that your id is current and up to date, or better yet that it is not fake!!! Like the nice guy at the gate who vouched for me, Jesus can also vouch for us with the Father. I would surely hate to think that I have been repping my status in the kingdom but my id is actually invalid and I AM NOT ON THE LIST.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’