I kindly reminded the front desk clerk as I checked in to the hotel: “Oh, and I’m a gold member.” Earlier in the day, I had walked up to the airline counter, hoping for a seat on an oversold earlier flight as 150 people pressed into the boarding area, and noted to the nice young woman, “Hi, I’m Greg. I’m Platinum…” All in hopes of getting a bit more attention, a better room, a better seat, just a little more legroom please, a bigger car! What about the Land Rover instead of the Chevy?
I used to have to actually get out my pack of loyalty / status cards and flash them for hotel and airline and rental car agents. But now the glow of the computer screen already shows the agents that I must have used their company services a lot because they usually say thanks for my “loyalty” to them. “Thanks Mr. Leith for being a member since…..ugh, OH! Since 1983! My! Thank you Mr. Leith.” Translated, that means I’m not home as much as most people, since it takes a lot of five A.M. wake up calls to gain all this status. This week I spoke with someone who had top tier status on three airlines. That’s about 300,000 miles…..he’s likely gone more than he’s home.
Well, I got to thinking as I was running my day through the filter of God’s words to me, written years ago when there was no airlines and no cars (they did have little country inns but they were so full that people could not get a room even if they were about to give birth the son of God or something like that!). OK, back to my reading in the ancient scriptures…
I was reading that this earth is not my home, that I should not feel like I’m settled here or that I’m anyone important. I was reminded that I am to be last, not first, and that an ancient religious leader named Paul said all his religious status was like rubbish and that all the things I will be measured on and that I should care about for my run here on earth had already been laid out by God. Things like giving stuff away, being excited about God, serving others, persevering through trials like getting a bad seat on an airplane (just kidding!), disciplining myself and obeying God’s rules and teaching others about God and his ways.
Clearly, status had nothing to do with any of the things God cares about. Turns out the plastic status cards will melt pretty fast in the fire God builds. The fire will likely be so hot you won’t even be able to see my name emblazed on the status card. That’s okay, because I’m working hard on making sure what’s left after the fire dies down is something worth it. Something about which God will be able to say, “Hey Greg, good job! You got close to 100 times what I gave you to watch over.” You see, when I get to heaven, I won’t have to flash a status card, my entry ticket is that I believed in the claims of Jesus Christ and I accepted them for my life. I exchanged my life for his death and God says that’s the only status he will find valuable at the literal end of the day.