Page 156 has been a long day. As I write today’s page, it is tough to keep my mind clear and focused on the writing I believe God would have me share. I knew it would be an early day as our flight home from vacation was scheduled at 7:50 AM, meaning we were supposed to be at the airport by 5:50 AM. Susan continued to have seizures during the overnight hours so none of us got much sleep leading into the alarm going off at 4:15 AM. After getting dressed and packed, I checked my email and found out our flight was in a 3 hour delay so we all tried to rest and nap for a couple additional hours before leaving the hotel. Once at the airport, we checked our luggage and made it through security in a very efficient manner to begin the “hurry up and wait” process. As we waited, they announced that the rescheduled flight would be delayed at least an additional half hour as they had a plane but no crew to fly it. As that time passed, the next announcement was that they were still trying to get a crew in, but it didn’t look likely that we would fly to South Bend today. We could wait and see what might happen or we could change our flights at no additional charge at the ticket counter — the ticket counter back outside of the security checkpoint. We went out and waited in a long line to see what our options were and as we finally reached the front of the line, the airline personnel were saying that they had a confirmed crew for the South Bend flight to leave at 3:05 PM. So, back through the security checkpoint we went. This time they were neither efficient nor friendly but we made it through for another session of “hurry up and wait”. While waiting, I heard people talking about food vouchers that the airline was giving because of the delay. I went to the gate podium and sure enough, there were $8 vouchers at the desk for each passenger. The three vouchers we received were enough that we each got a pretty decent meal and I only had to pay an additional 11 cents. Shortly after eating we boarded the plane and eventually made our way to South Bend, arriving at 6 PM instead of the 10 AM that was scheduled.
Maybe that is too much information for the style of these daily pages, but the lessons within the day’s events are numerous. In all of the process I only saw one individual have an attitude and “go off” on an airline employee — and that wasn’t even a passenger affected by the delay but someone wanting personal attention because they didn’t know where they needed to be and evidently couldn’t make sense of the informational signs. While I am sure that many people were unhappy with the delays and were probably expressing their frustration to the airline in a variety of ways, it seemed most of the realized that the people serving them were not responsible for the problems we faced. Our flight attendants, who were there at the airport all day waiting for the flight to go out like the rest of us, were very positive and cheerful in interacting with the passengers during boarding and throughout the flight. While traveling, there is a bigger picture in play than simply the journey. The journey is important, but not nearly as important as reaching the destination. A rough journey is often more bearable when you know it is taking you home. While I loved our vacation time as a family, and the destination we were at, there is still no place like home.
All of us are on a journey home. As Christians, we have chosen a journey that leads us to an eternal home with God. How we respond to the people around us, and to God, when our journey doesn’t go exactly as we had planned says a lot about our character and about our trust in God. It is important to understand Who is in charge of our journey so we are not tempted to mistreat people who we think are responsible for our rough times when in reality, they are simply on the journey with us. When our journey seems detoured or delayed, we must learn the patience required to examine the lessons God would have us learn as we wait. In all of the ups and downs of life, it is of utmost importance to never lose sight that no matter how long it takes or how rugged the journey, it will all be worth it when we make it home!
I pray that you and I would not lose sight of the eternal destination we are traveling to as we journey through life. I pray that we would treat all people with kindness and respect, especially when we are having a rough time on our journey. I pray that we would learn how to “complain” to God with the honesty that David expressed in the Psalms. I pray that we would allow God’s Spirit within us to produce the patience we need with people and with situations on our journey.