I rushed to the gate counter out of breath with feet swollen. I began my journey home 24 hours earlier. It originated in Addis Abab, Ethiopia. The flight across the pond took 17 hours. Praying for patience I stood in line for the next available immigration officer to look over my passport, ask me pertinent questions, like do I bring back fruit or produce. No and no to all questions that I just answered on the newly installed computers that are meant to make navigating through customs a smoother transition. I wasn’t seeing the fruitfulness of this endeavor. Maybe it was my operator error at the computer screen. I was a little fraggeled because every time I make my way to a computer someone else jumps in front of me. “Lord, give me patience.” I didn’t want to loose the wonder of my amazing trip to Ethiopia. God had done amazing works. I had seen salvation come into many homes and lives. I wanted to hold onto those memories. I didn’t want this experience through immigration to damper the joy of the Lord. Finally through, I re-gather my luggage and go back to the United ticket counter at Dulles International Airport so that I can get my boarding pass printed for the remainder of my domestic flights. However, as I search the flight board for my gate assignment I saw the dreaded word every weary passenger cringes at – DELAYED!
Not good, not good at all. I didn’t have much time to make my connection at Dallas to begin with and now with this hiccup I knew I was going to have to sprint like Ussaine Bolt through the crowded terminal at DFW. (That is never a pretty sight. I have a tendency to let my arms flail as I do my best to run fast.) Forty-five minutes later, I take my seat on my first leg of my domestic flight home. Take a deep breath and relax. “God get me home please”
I finally hear the words from the cockpit, “Ladies and gentlemen we are making our descent into the Dallas Fort Worth Airport.” Looking down at my watch, “Not much time, but I can do this.” I sprint to the tram that takes you around the airport. (Sprint is a very loose term describing how I run through airports.) I even climb the excalators instead of allowing them to take me, only to find out on this day when I so desperately needed a break, I see that the tram heading in the direction I need it to go is broken. Only one tram working that day and its heading in the wrong direction. It will take me 20 minutes to get to my desired gate instead of the normal five. What to do? Run again? I couldn’t chance it remember I’m not that fast. I boarded the tram and prayed, “Please God”
Finally arriving at C terminal I rush to the ticket counter, but I notice the doors to the ramp that leads to my plane that should be waiting for me are closed. The man in the business suit ahead of me is breathless also, but he explains his dilemma and the nice lady at the gate opens the door for him. “Ok, there is still a chance,” I think to myself. I put on my politest smile, and with great humility I explain my situation. But instead of open doors, I hear the words, “I’m sorry the gate door close 10 minutes prior to take off.” Oh no you didn’t just say that to me. “What about that guy, you opened the door for him,” I stated accusingly. Then I hear the most ridiculous statement I could have heard, “Oh he had a first class ticket. First class passengers have priority access.”
I forget what I replied back. I forget because I choose to forget. I am pretty sure it wasn’t Christ like by any means. At that point I was a woman on the edge. Hysteria was rising within me. I wanted to scream to the top of my lungs, “American Airlines you were the ones who made me late in the first place. And then the stupid tram traveled the wrong direction.” I do know I held it together for that moment and I didn’t scream out like a banshee. Instead I called my go to guy. I called my husband, “I missed my plane. Can you get me out of this mess.”
Life’s like that isn’t it. It’s gets confusing. Absurdity disrupts your day like a clown jumping out of bushes to scare you. Sometimes you get derailed through no fault of your own and you have to make a detour to make it to your final destination. You feel like you aren’t a first class passenger and the door to your gate closes on you. On those days, I sometimes just sit down and say, “Really God. Really I can’t do this. I know You might think I can, but I can’t. I want to go home. I want to sit in a comfy chair and I want to sleep in my own bed.”
I don’t have the answer for you if you are feeling like you just came to your departure gate only to see your plane backing away. The only answer I have is Jesus. Jesus is the answer to all my test questions. He is my go to guy. He is the Only One who can get me where I need to go. He doesn’t always give me the answers I want to hear. I don’t always gain the clarity I think I need, but He always gives me my next step.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart leaning not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philllippians 4:6-7
I don’t have your answers for a weary journey, but I know the One who has the power to make you a first class passenger. In His presence He will give you the peace you seek to carry on and journey on to you next destination.