Last week my wife and I loaded up the family cruiser to hit the holiday road. Like Clark W. Griswald we packed up the kids and headed to Washington D.C. Four kids between the ages of ten and two for 25 hours in a mini-van could certainly have been like National Lampoon’s Vacation, but it turns out we didn’t encounter Cousin Eddy, get robbed in the shady part of town or drag our dog down the highway by the leash attached to our bumper.
We did, however, have an unforgettable time.
I’ve been to Washington before. I was a kid. But this trip wasn’t quite like those. As we planned our vacation we were amazed at the number of people we know who live in D.C. now. We have a friend who serves at Arlington National Cemetery. He is responsible for so much more than this, but one of his responsibilities is to play bugle in the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. We have another friend who is currently stationed at the Pentagon. He works for the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Another friend currently serves in the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress. There are other friends we didn’t get to see because time didn’t allow.
It was great to catch up with friends. But these friendships also afforded us other opportunities. We saw the same amazing sites most tourist see when they go to Washington. We saw the monuments and memorials, toured the White House, the National Cathedral and the Library of Congress. But when it came time to see the Capital, the Pentagon & Arlington our tours were something different. We entered through the same doors as all the other tourists, but the tour itself was completely different.
- At Arlington, we didn’t just see the changing of the guard. Our friend at Arlington took us into the barracks of the men who serve in the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
- We didn’t just see the 9/11 Memorial on the outside of the Pentagon. We toured the inside of the Pentagon. We walked past the office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We were invited into the office of the Air Force Chief of Staff. We ate lunch at the Subways in the food court at the Pentagon!
- Our tour of the U.S Capital happened at night, after most tourists had left. It was led by a U.S Congressman who, earlier that evening had taken our children onto the floor of the House of Representatives during an active session of Congress!
It was an unforgettable trip filled with unbelievable experiences. I’m grateful for these friends and the kindness they showed us. But there’s more to the story.
January of this year marked our 10th Anniversary serving at First Baptist Owasso. The people of the church have been gracious. They gave us an extra week vacation and covered the expenses of this trip. That’s simply incredible!
As I think about our experiences last week – the gift from the church, the trip, the things we saw, the friends we got to spend time with – I’m reminded of something.
Everything is political, even Heaven. It’s who you know that gets you in. We were able to take this trip because of the generosity of the people of our church. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We could have gone to Washington and seen the same sights as everyone else, but our experience was supercharged because of the friendships we have.
Life is the same way. You and I will have many similar experiences. But will your life be supercharged by a relationship with Jesus? How will the quality of your life, or even the quality of your death, be affected by Him?
Knowing Jesus gives you the ultimate backstage pass and unrestricted access to all the resources of Heaven. He wants to use His authority on your behalf. He wants to walk with you as you experience the sights of this life. Will you walk with Him? I guarantee, as you do, life will be unforgettable.
“Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6