Thursday, 22 June 2017

Handing Over The Ticket by Emily Owen

Free Train On Tracks Royalty Free Stock Photography - 982257

I recently travelled by train from the East Midlands up to a little village in Scotland.  When the ticket inspector came, I scrabbled around for my ticket (why am I never organised enough to have it immediately to hand?) and showed it to him. He took it, checked it and handed it back to me but, before I could take the ticket, he started inspecting it again.  Of course, despite knowing I’d bought the correct ticket, I felt irrationally guilty and visions of me being turfed off the train at the next stop ran through my mind…

“Where’s that you’re going?” he asked. I could see him wracking his brains.  Then: “No, I’ve never heard of it.”

I told him it was in Scotland and, realising that I did know where I was going, he checked off and handed the ticket back before moving on down the train.

He didn’t know where I was going but the fact that I knew was enough for him.

As I sped northward, watching the beautiful scenery flash by, I thought about my ticket which had my destination written on. I thought about the ticket inspector who’d checked it off and handed my ticket back to me simply on the basis that I knew where I was going, even though he didn’t know. And I thought about life.

I don’t always know where I’m going. Sometimes I think I’d like a ticket telling me where to go, what to do, what to write, what to say.

There is such a ticket, it’s just that I’m like the ticket inspector, wanting to know: “Where am I going?” But, rather than wrack my brains and try to figure out what it says on my ticket, maybe I should also be like the ticket inspector and decide to hand the ticket back:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5/6).

This is a verse my sister and her husband had at their wedding, right at the start of their journey together. Time and time again, it’s been a ticket that they’ve handed over to God, choosing to let it be enough that He knows where they are going. Even when they don’t have a clue.

Perhaps we can all hand our tickets over to One who does know where we’re going, every minute. And let the fact that He knows be enough.

My train ticket did get me there. God’s ticket will direct our journeys in life, too. 

‘Do not depend on your own understanding….’


  1. Oh yes, absolutely. I have held that ticket tightly in my hand for so long, not only trying to work out where I'm going and when I might get there but what I'll find when at the end of the journey. 'Lean not on your own understanding...' is a constant struggle. Peace is only found when we surrender the ticket and just climb on the train. Thank you so much for a timely reminder. x

    1. You're welcome, Helen. And thank you for summing it up perfectly: 'Peace is only found when we surrender the ticket and just climb on the train' - I like that.

  2. That verse from Proverbs has come into my life sooooo many times x

  3. Good metaphor, Emily, though I got a bit confused trying to work out who is the ticket-holder and who is the ticket collector!

    1. Thank you.
      I did wonder if a bit of confusion might be the case, actually!