Pastor’s Pen: Destination: Ferrari

I was excited and nervous. It was a great gift, but I wasn’t sure how I would do. 

Last Christmas I was given the gift of experience. I was going to experience driving a Ferrari F430 for 3 laps around a made-up track. For a NASCAR fan and someone who would be perfectly happy with the speed limit being eliminated from all freeways, it was a dream come true. But I did have my doubts. Would I make a fool of myself? Would I stall out? Would I go as fast on the road as I had day dreamed in my mind? No matter, I was on my way to the mall to find out. 

I had my course plotted and left early in the morning so I would have plenty of time to arrive. The drive seemed to take longer the closer I came to my destination. The other cars on the road didn’t have the same sense of anticipation as I did. It seemed like some of them were on a fall tour rather than the expressway. But eventually I made it to the mall and turned my truck toward the Sear’s parking lot, the location of the Ferrari experience. However, when I arrived I didn’t see any signs of a Ferrari nor of a group of people waiting to drive. I was early, though I thought they would have things set up by now. I drove around a little and then pulled into the parking lot. There was someone else in their car and I assumed they were waiting for the Ferrari’s arrival just like me. 

While I waited I decided to fill out the paperwork I had been sent. I was almost done when I looked at the time. The arrival time was only 15 minutes from now. Something isn’t right. I pulled out my smartphone and checked the e-mail. Yes, the time is correct. Yes, the Sear’s parking lot. And then I spotted it — the Ferrari F430 Experience was at the Woodland Mall! Oh no! I was at the Rivertown Crossings Mall. I had 15 minutes to get across Grand Rapids to the mall. You better believe I wasn’t missing this opportunity. I drove as fast as my truck could go without the police turning on their lights. It was a little nerve-wracking, but I did make it and I got to drive the Ferrari F430 for 4 laps! I like to think I got an extra lap because I was so good at driving. I even included a little drifting at the end. 

The fact is that as I drove to the Rivertown Crossings Mall, I was excited about the Ferrari experience I was hoping to have there. I couldn’t wait to arrive at my destination. I was all set to go and had paperwork in hand. But I was going to the wrong place. It didn’t matter that I arrived on time, had signed papers or was excited. I was at the wrong location. If I hadn’t arrived at the Woodland Mall on time, my trip would have ended in utter disappointment. 

This is the same with eternal life. Whether you’re excited about heaven, the new earth, being with Jesus, seeing God or all of the above; you can’t get to any of it if your GPS (God Positional System) is set for the wrong place. Acts 4:11-12 says this:

“Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

The fact is that you can excitedly think going to church, having a good family or being a nice person will get you to heaven — but it won’t. You can believe some other person or God or passion will bring eternal life — but it won’t. God tells us in His Word that you must declare what is already fact: “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9). He’s the one in charge of everything, including your life. There’s no other way to be saved. 

You may be excited. You may have done some great things. You may be deeply passionate about serving. But if you don’t have Jesus, you’re headed to the wrong place. “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Be sure your course is set for the right location.