The Golden Ticket
Posted on February 5, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Freedom Fighters
“I said to myself. ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And behold, it too was futility.” — Ecclesiastes 2:1 (NASB)
Even at age 56 I still remain a fan of the 1971 movie, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” For me, it’s just one of those movies that keeps getting better as it ages. If you’re a fan of the 2005 version, that’s okay, it is a bit closer to the book, however it’s just tad bit scarier. Anyway, one of the characters in the movie has always tugged at me selfish little heart and that character is Veruca Salt. When we are introduced to her in the movie we hear, “I wanted to be the first to find the golden ticket daddy!” From then on, all Veruca wants, is to want. It’s like nothing is ever fulfilling for her, even in the moment when she gets what she wants. “And if I don’t get the things I am after, I’m going to scream!!”
We can’t be certain if Solomon ran around King David’s Palace singing, “I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It’s my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now!” But we are certain that when YHVH came to him in a dream and said, “Ask what you wish Me to give to you” (1 Kings 3:5b). Solomon’s response wasn’t a golden ticket. “So give Your servant an understating heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9). And just like that it was done. You would think Solomon would rest in that the rest of his days, however that wasn’t the case.
Like some of us do, Solomon strayed from the Lord and found himself making all kinda compromises. I guess after a while of that happening everything just became meaningless and the only thing left to say was, “fear God and keep His commandments.” But he didn’t come to that conclusion that easy. The 2nd chapter of Ecclesiastes gives you the impression that Solomon felt that at the end of the day nothing he was doing mattered so why was he even bothering.
I’m pretty sure there are a few of us out there that have days like Ecclesiastes 2. I think its pretty cool that our Bibles gives us something we could call a “rant” when we look at Ecclesiastes but I don’t we’re suppose to park there and turn the engine off. Au contraire!!
The apostle Paul was someone who didn’t lose heart. This guy went from being a Pharisee of Pharisees to someone who went through being belittled, beaten, imprisoned and shipwrecked. He doesn’t lose sight of his first love either and he’ll say to the Philippians…
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”(Phil 3:8-10) Not Too Shabby!!
Sometimes I think its all about sight. In Veruca Salt’s case she wanted everything that her eyes beheld. She wanted to have… just to have, and once she got it, she moved on to the next biggest…the golden ticket to the chocolate factory. And for those of us who saw the movie, once she got in, she wanted it all for herself. Eventually she goes down the garbage chute.
Solomon went to sleep one night, after seeing everything that he had inherited, watching how his father ruled a nation and asked God for wisdom to rule a people. “And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing” (1 Kings 3:10). It was a shame that Solomon lost sight of what this wisdom could do for a people. Eventually the nation of Israel will be brought to ruin. But then there was Paul.
Paul encourages us to take a position with the way we should see things, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on earth,” (Col 3:1-2). Solomon had his point that a lot on earth is like “striving after the wind” and that’s because its in plain sight. But when we shift our gaze upwards, our true “Golden Ticket” can be right before our eyes. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “If we want to enjoy life in the full vibrant, fully alive way that we all crave, then we must have something to focus on that is bigger than our problems.” — Chris Hodges
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? – Numbers 23:19