As the train came to a dead stop, an automated voice announced, “Your attention please. The blue line train to O’Hare is delayed because of an equipment problem on the train. Work is under way to correct the problem. We hope to be moving shortly.” I turned to my husband with a look of panic and between clinched teeth said, “You’ve got to be kidding me; we will never make our flight on time.”

We were on our way to the airport after a weekend of fun in the windy city of Chicago. We were already running late and in a time crunch after a series of other unavoidable delays. For the record, I am not a calm traveler. If told to arrive one hour before departure, I will be there two hours before. I don’t like feeling rushed and by no stretch of the imagination am I a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of gal when traveling.

The airport was in full view as we sat on the tracks in lock-down mode. This only heightened my anxiety level. Thankfully, the train doors would not open because jumping out and dodging eight lanes of high-speed traffic did cross my mind.

Long story made short, we did make it to the airport; but, not without taking down bystanders while maneuvering the airport corridors and hearing, “This is the final boarding call for passengers Denise and Chris Marks on flight #536 to Detroit.” We breathlessly reached our gate and boarded our flight home offering apologies to each passenger as we edged our way to our seats.

What surprised me most was the applause of the passengers as we entered the plane. We had boarded the plane under the wire and delayed departure. Yet, they were applauding us for not missing our flight. It is a moment I will never forget.

This scenario brings to mind another ‘under the wire’ moment where understanding, acceptance, love, and compassion embraced an act of forgiveness. Remember the thief being crucified next to Jesus. He was facing his last boarding call and under the wire in catching a flight to Heaven. He heard the call, “This is the final boarding call for passenger ‘Thief on the Cross’ departing on flight #JESUS heading to Paradise.” The thief on the cross ran to the gate.

It is never too late to board the flight to Heaven. It only requires that we come to Him without excuse and offer our heart and soul to Him. When we do, we experience the awesome love and grace of the Lord.  Just as the passengers on our flight showed us grace, so does Jesus when we come to Him without excuse and offer heartfelt forgiveness. And when we do, we experience the awesome love and grace of the Lord.

Don’t ever give up or slow down when sprinting toward the Heavenly gate. Jesus, our pilot, continues to give a last boarding call. Make sure you get on board.

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