Saturday Brian and I flew home from our cruise vacation. We started in New Orleans - flew to Charlotte, NC - and were to connect there with a flight to Detroit. Easy enough, you'd think.Uh, sometimes you just shouldn't think. Goodness knows we weren't! See, we were hungry when we landed in Charlotte, so we got something to eat. Then, as we were making our way to our gate, we saw a shop which sold smoothies and decided to stop for one. Soooo yummy! But, while we were thinking about how good a smoothie would taste, we were NOT thinking about what time our flight was leaving. And when we got to our gate, we discovered - the plane was gone. Ooops! Brian talked to the gate agent and we got stand-by tickets for the next flight to Detroit. Fortunately, after all passengers had boarded that next flight, there were two seats left. 17B for Brian. And 1A for me. Yes, we had to be split up. Yes, Brian was in the last row of the plane. And, yes...I was seated in First Class.After I got over the giddiness of my surprise upgrade, I began to feel a little awkward. The flight attendant started taking drink orders from all the First Class passengers. When she got to me, I kind of expected her to pass right by. I mean, I hadn't purchased a First Class ticket. I really wasn't supposed to be there. But she stopped, and asked me what I would like to have. I opted for water. Once we were in the air, the flight attendant came around with more drinks. And snacks. And each time she came by she offered me choices just like she did to all the other First Class passengers. She treated me the same way she was treating everyone else. Yet I kept thinking, But I shouldn't be here. I don't deserve this treatment. I didn't buy a First Class ticket!None of my thinking seemed to matter to her. She just kept on treating me like a First Class passenger. (I finally bucked up and played along. *wink*) Then Sunday morning came along and, as I sat in church listening to the sermon, I began to see the picture God had started painting for me the night before. Our pastor spoke of God choosing us - not because of anything we have done, but because of His grace and love toward us. Indeed, we do not deserve God's grace. We have not "bought the ticket". There is no way we could! God's love and grace given to us through Jesus is a gift, pure and simple. And because of that gift, God treats us like First Class saints. Not like the sinners we are. HE sees us as righteous because of the purifying blood of Jesus which covers us. In that moment, I realized my experience the night before - sitting in seat 1A, being treated like all the other First Class passengers (undeserving, though I was!) - was a picture of God's grace. When I get to heaven one day, and God welcomes me Home, I might stand in awe and think, But I shouldn't be here! Yet, I know my Father will assure me, My Son purchased your ticket, daughter. This is right where I want you to be.