In October 2017, I purchased a ticket for a women's conference that was going to be held in October 2018. Yes, that's right. I purchased my ticket a year in advance. Why? Because over the last several years I knew this conference had been sold out and the waiting lists had been so long that the decision was made to move it from our church to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Ticket sales for the 2018 conference opened up the day the 2017 conference ended. I was prepared for this and I bought my ticket immediately. I also saved myself $30.00 off the ticket price because I got the early early-bird special.
For one year, announcements were made not only at all church services but at all women's events as well. If you wanted to go to this event, you needed to get your tickets as soon as possible. This event had been sold out for the past few years and even though it was going to be held in a bigger venue, a number of groups had purchased or planned to purchase tickets. If you wanted to be sure of getting a ticket, you needed to make your purchase now rather than later. I was glad I already had my ticket.
Then we began to get regular updates on how many tickets were still available. When one of my cousins called me last summer to say she was thinking about coming, I told her to get her ticket without delay. I am glad she listened to me and bought her ticket then rather than later because before a few weeks passed, I learned there were less than 1,000 tickets left. Then there were only 500 tickets left. Then 250, then 100 and a few weeks before the conference there were none.
The day the last ticket was sold, the women's ministries Facebook page was literally flooded with requests from women trying desperately to obtain a ticket. One woman mentioned she had been meaning to get one all along. When she learned there was a limited number available, she asked her husband to purchase it for her as she was too busy to do so herself. Guess who forgot to purchase her ticket? Oops!
In the weeks that followed, some women were fortunate enough to obtain tickets from other women who were no longer able to attend. Unfortunately, there were hundreds of others who were still on the waiting list. They had told themselves they had plenty of time, they had been undecided as to whether or not they would or could go or they had left it up to someone else to do what they themselves should have done.
Do these excuses sound familiar?
We can easily apply that to salvation of course but we can also apply it to whenever God tells us to do something. We waver as to whether or not we want to obey Him. We tell ourselves we can easily do it later. We prefer to let someone else do it instead and then it is too late. We missed the opportunity and now we must suffer the consequences of our decision.
Yes, God is a God of mercy and grace but... there are also consequences for our actions and when it comes to heeding the Word of the Lord, the time is now.