Last weekend I went to the spring concert of an African music group which is a part of the music program of two local colleges. My husband works at one of the colleges and has been doing sound for this group since the program began 22 years ago. This is a very popular event. Special guests come from Africa to perform with the group. Music teachers from around the country fly in to study the program and try to learn as much as they can about implementing a similar program at their colleges or universities. Usually there are also offers to try to snatch the director away from our college but...it never works. He is too loyal!
Generally the concerts, which are free, are standing room only. Especially in the spring. Often people must be turned away simply because there is not enough room. I never worry about things like that because my husband is there hours before the performance and already has my seat, right behind his. During a concert in February, 2008 the director looked out into the audience between songs. He noticed me sitting beside my husband. He knew I'd just had surgery and was so shocked to see me that without thinking he blurted out, "What are you doing here, K? You're supposed to be at home!" The audience was amused.
This time, I learned that for the first time ever you had to have a ticket. The concert was still free but you needed a ticket. I was worried for about two seconds when I heard this. Then my husband called me and told me not to worry. He had reserved my ticket. I could take my time coming to the concert hall. Whew! I'd been running late and would have plenty of time still to eat before I needed to leave. This is a three hour concert with no intermission so eating before hand is important.
When I arrived, I pushed my way through the crowd and confidently worked my way up to the ticket booth. That's when I learned they had given my ticket away. You gave it away? Why? Apparently, you had to be there 45 minutes before the show. No one had told me that little detail. "But...you weren't supposed to give away my ticket." I mentioned my husband's name. No they were sorry. They'd given it away and there were none left. People were waiting to see if there would be people who didn't show up but my ticket was gone.
"We're sorry, ma'am but you won't be able to get in. There is a long waiting list and your name will be at the bottom."
Wait, wait, wait. Not get in? Then I remembered who I was. I had an inside connection. I pulled out my cell phone speed-dialed my husband.
"Where are you?" he asked.
"I'm at the ticket booth. They gave away my ticket and they said I can't come in."
"What do you mean you can't come in? Of course you can come in. Meet me over at the other door."
I pushed my way through the crowd which glared at me even though I smiled sweetly and said excuse me in my prettiest voice. I waited by the other door. Some people slipped over beside me thinking they could get in. Nope. When my husband opened the door, they were all turned away but I was welcomed in. My seat behind him was already reserved. The director walked by and waved at me. I waved over at the director's wife on the other side of the room. I eyed my husband's Coke Zero and wondered if I could get ahold of it without him noticing it. While everyone else was crowded into a very hot space outside the concert hall, I was contentedly curled up in my seat. You see, I wasn't just anybody.
The doors opened and people streamed in. The house was packed. One of the young women from the ticket booth came racing in. She quickly scanned the crowd and raced over to my husband. Her eye caught mine and she breathed a huge sigh of relieve.
"Oh good. You did get in." She looked at my husband. "I am so very sorry. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to give away her ticket. I got sent in to make sure she made it in and if not, I was suppose to make room for her."
I smiled to myself as the concert began. Yes, I wasn't just anyone...I had access privileges.
I couldn't help but think about how the enemy often tries to tell us we have no rights. How dare we come before God. Who do we think we are? That's when we need to remember who we are in Christ. We are no longer fatherless waifs. Rather, we are His very own dear children, adopted into God's family. We're not just anybody...we belong to Him! We are not standing on the outside, rather we have full access to our Heavenly Father...anytime, anyplace.
K, thanks for the great reminder.