One of my awesomest memories (and I have many) is going to see Metallica downtown at what is now called Bankers Life Fieldhouse circa 2004.
Now the reason for the extra awesomeness of this particular show is that my good friend Joe Robinson hooked me and three buddies up with something a little special. You see Joe owns the company responsible for all the security at BLF–concerts, Pacer games, you name it. So he had one of his guys meet me and my dudes out front to walk us in. First off, let me just express the incredible feeling of walking past 5,000+ people waiting in line to go thru security check and absorb their “Why do they get to go right in without waiting?!?” looks on their faces. At this point we are already feeling like some privileged politician or rock star ourselves.
Once inside, our personal security guard walks us down the aisles to find our seats. Pretty soon we notice, “We’re in like the first twenty rows!”
And we keep walking.
“Oh guys, we’re in the first ten rows!!”
And we keep walking.
Are you kidding me? We must have front or second row seats, this is amazing!
He takes us through a waist-high locked gate all the way down to the stage. We’re given fluorescent wrist bands, which to this day I believe contained magical properties, and were told we could walk anywhere we wanted around the stage for the whole show. What. Just. Happened? We were given “floor passes”, that’s what just happened. What the heck are floor passes? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Until tonite! We are in front of the front row! People in the very front row wish they were us!!!
It was absolutely incredible. I was in danger of being sweated upon by James Hetfield, the legendary vocalist/rhythm guitarist of Metallica. This was a very spiritual experience indeed. And most amazing, the tickets cost us zero dollars. Why? Because Joe just gave them to us. He wanted to bless me and my friends. And we accepted. Oh how we accepted.
Zero dollars, but was there a cost? Sure, we had to drive downtown and find a place to park. We had to meet up with his guy at a certain time and place to walk us in. How do think we felt about that cost? Big freakin’ deal! That’s how we felt. That’s all we gotta do? To score tickets to this show of the metal gods? DONE. A thousand times done. What a negligible cost.
Now let’s imagine, just before the show begins, a friend of mine calls me exclaiming, “Great news! There’s still some seats available up in row triple ‘Y’ for only $150!” What? Are you serious? First off, why would I sit back there, even if I had binoculars? Secondly, why would I pay money, let alone that much, for poor seats when these floor passes were gifted to me???
Seems like a no-brainer. But isn’t this what we do spiritually speaking? We leave the gifted floor passes to pay for the nosebleeds.
God has given us everything. He’s given us His Son, which means He’s given us full access to Himself and His presence. And we pay nothing for it. We only can accept what He has offered, and then take full advantage of it, resting in Him and who we are in Him. Yes, there is cost–time, old ways and values, maybe even some friends. But when compared to what you gain, the cost is laughable. The greatest thing we can possibly have is God Himself. And He says, “Be with Me. Be one with Me, what you are made and destined for.” Yet so much of the time we choose to pay $150 for the seats where we are likely to get altitude sickness. “That’s OK, a nice offer, but I’ll stick with trying to please you and run myself ragged serving as many people and ministries as I can. It’s too hard to accept something so nice without paying for it. So I’m gonna keep striving. I know I don’t deserve it, so I’ve gotta keep perfecting myself until I’m worthy of this generous gift. Excuse me while I go up and find my seats.”
No thank you. I’m gonna accept those floor passes with ease, thank you very much, Mr. Robinson. I enjoyed my pants off at that show thanks to that blessing, generosity, and…my acceptance of it.
I enjoy my days most when I accept God’s gift of Himself and then actually live into the joy of it by accepting myself as He does.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria