Billy Graham once shared the following story with a crowd of Christian leaders and businessmen who had gathered to honor him in Charlotte, North Carolina. Standing at the lectern, he begins,
“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who was honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.
“Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train, when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached into his trouser pockets.
“It wasn’t there. He looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.
“The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.’
“Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.
“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’
Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”
Who you are is who you are, the hand genetics has dealt you. Your physical features and cognitive capacity all determined by your ancestry. How then can it be said, “all men are created equal”? I would love to play basketball like Michael Jordan, write like Max Lucado, sing like Elvis and have the intelligence of Einstein – but the story DNA told never said a word about my being anyone other than who I am, who God made me be.
The biblical idea of equality is not that I can be or do anything anyone else can, that is, of course, not true. Scripturally expressed, the equal ground we share is two-fold; our treatment of one another (to be impartial and fair towards all), and our opportunity to know and have a relationship with God.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
– Matthew 7:12
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16
I’m 5’5” not 6’6”, Michael Jordan I could never be, but both he and I can treat others as we would want to be treated. I will never be an Einstein; I’m good with that. But unlike the good doctor that day, I do know where I am going, do you?
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 14:1-6