1 Corinthians 10:12, 13
The year was 2000, in January, the leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favourite son; you know who he is, Billy Graham. They invited him to a luncheon in his honour. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation. He was struggling with Parkinson’s Disease, at that time, in particular. But the Charlotte leaders said, “Billy, we don’t expect a major address from you. Just come and let us honour you.”
After wonderful things were said about Billy Graham, he stepped to the podium, and he looked at the crowd, and this is what he said: “Today, I’m reminded of Albert Einstein. The great physicist, who this month, has been honoured by Time Magazine as the ‘Man of the Century – Albert Einstein’”. He said, “Let me tell you a story about Albert Einstein. He was traveling from Princeton, on a train, where the conductor came down the isle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, he reached into his vest pocket; couldn’t find the ticket. He reached into his trousers’ pockets; couldn’t find the ticket. It wasn’t there. He looked in his briefcase, but couldn’t find it. He looked at the seat beside him. He still 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 isle, punching the tickets. And, just when he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physician down on his hands and knees, looking under the seat for the ticket. The conductor rushed back and said, ‘D. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry. Don’t worry about it. I told you, I know who you are. There’s no problem. You don’t need a ticket, I’m sure you bought one.’ Einstein looked at him and he said, ‘Young man, I too, know who I am. But the fact is, I don’t know where I’m going.’”
Having said that, Billy Graham said, “Do you all see the suit I’m wearing? It’s brand new. It’s a brand new suit. O yes, my children and my grandchildren have been telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So, I went out and I bought this suit for this luncheon, and for one other occasion. Do you know what that other occasion is?”, he asked. “This suit, which I am wearing, is the suit that I will be buried in. And when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I am wearing. But I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am; I also know where I’m going!”
Father: thank you. Thank you for speaking to us: to this essence of who I am and where I’m going. Lord, would you lead me, guide me and allow me, Lord, even when I’m being tested, even when I go through trials, to look to you for my strength for my courage, for my encouragement. I want to say today, Father, that I do trust you. And today, Father, I want to count you as my Father in Heaven, and Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for paying for my sins. Thank you for being my Saviour. Lead on, O King Eternal.
Rev. Donald S. Crisp