The blessing of being included

I woke up very early this morning.  It could be from jet lag but is probably from the new sounds that come from the boat taking us from Amsterdam to Belgium.  Dottie and I are on our first river cruise with 5 other couples we have known for 45+ years.  We feel very fortunate to have been included and can afford this type of trip.  It reminded me of a devotional  I read right before the Masters last weekend. Hamilton writes about his dream to play Augusta National much less be a member.  It made me think about what would it take to become a member of such an exclusive club? 
These criteria came to mind. 
1) I would need to be somebody.“ You can see by this list not just anybody can join Augusta. 
2) You not only need have made a name for yourself in the world but you also need to know someone. That someone needs to think that you are worthy of membership. 
3) You need to be able to afford it. Although it doesn’t cost that much to join, you have to be financially well off to even be considered. 
4) and finally, you will have to undergo a very strict vetting process and many are not offered the opportunity to become a member.  As an example, for a very long time, people of color and women were not eligible to join. 
5) Another way to become a member is to earn it 🙂 See below picture

I am glad my entrance into God’s kingdom does not have these same type of qualifications.  Drew sums it up nicely by writing, “I need to be grateful for the reality that I belong to an inclusive club with the greatest perk of all (citizenship in heaven)”http://”

I am grateful that I don’t need to be someone special.  I am grateful that I do know that someone, Jesus Christ, who gives me access.  I’m grateful that Jesus paid for my inclusion through His death on the cross. Finally, I thank God that He accepts me with all my imperfection and that is all the vetting that is done.

This time on the river cruise gives me a glimpse of what all this looks like.  These other 5 couples were kind enough to invite us on this journey.  It means so much to be included on this wonderful trip.  It may not be as grand as a membership at Augusta National, but it is a blessing to travel through life with people who are willing to love me as God loves them.  May we all seek out this type of inclusive community.   Thanks for joining me here.  I hope this blog helps you remain Thankful in all Things.  I can be reached by email at [email protected]

Thanks for joining me here.  I hope this blog helps you remain Thankful in all Things.  I can be reached by email at [email protected]

3 Replies to “The blessing of being included”

  1. I loved this, Michael. I have been feeling the same about being included in this group but never thought of the parallels to being in God’s kingdom. It is a perfect analogy.
    I have enjoyed your presence on this trip more than I can say. You are a dear brother.

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