Okay, so yesterday I had to fly to Seattle… get it, “Sea” of airports… Anyway, I flew from Ontario to Salt lake City to Seattle. I don’t know how many of you get freaked out when you have to fly. I used to, but now it’s becoming like old hat… in fact, I spoke to God almost the entire trip yesterday.
My husband and I came up here because he has a week-long class for work. And so he had to fly a specific carrier… one that really isn’t cheap. So when I bought my ticket, I was on another airline altogether… different terminals, different times. Which turned out to be interesting.
So here are my lessons learned from this particular day at three airports.
1. For those of haven’t figured out yet, I am a very social creature. I personally think we’re becoming extinct… but that’s for another lesson. So naturally, I struck up a conversation with the couple on one side of me… They were also going to Seattle – for the birth of yet another grand. They already have 32 (YES, 32!) grandchildren and like nine greats. How awesome. But here’s the kicker. You just never know.
But here’s the kicker. You just never know who you are there to speak to. A man to my right was reading his Bible. Of course, I leaned over and told him how awesome that was. And I learned that they had recently moved to an area where I know a lot of people in different churches. He mentioned that his wife was in need of some encouragement. So I showed him the list of partner churches with Gap Gals Ministry. He mentioned that this is just what she needed. And there was a church on the list he said they were going to start attending next week. Come to find out, she is not well and needs some encouragement to go to have some interaction with Godly women. I pray that God will send the right woman to care for her. How amazing is God to set that up! So now I’m hoping that women at that church will reach out and envelope her in their loving arms. I think that’s why he and I connected. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
2. Back to the social becoming extinct part, antisocial if you will… On the first leg of my flight, the man on one side of me put a movie on his IPad and never looked up. The girl on the other slept for the entire time. And on the second leg, both sides read, listened to their various media forms and slept. No social interaction whatsoever.
Why do I think this is dangerous? Because we are supposed to share Jesus, to carry each other’s burdens, to become God’s church. And while these people are virtual strangers, it’s just an example. We all have kids who don’t look up from video games long enough to hold a conversation, much less acknowledge our presence.
How in the world are we supposed to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13) if there is no interaction whatsoever. So I’m challenging you, the next time you go to the grocery store or wherever, and God tells you to speak with someone, do it!
3. I spoke with three different sets of people who were flying to or coming back from a family member’s funeral. Such a tough thing. Lots of pain and yet sharing of good memories involved. I learned that not all travel is as it appears – happy, vacationing, fun, etc. In then past, from business classes, I was taught to mirror people. To speak in the same volume, the same fastness, the same kind of speech as the person I am talking to. So instead of my crazy, joyful self, I had to tone it down a bit… yes, it can be done. I was able to encourage them and listen to them share memories, just be that salt and light we spoke of. God is awesome that way. (Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.)
And here’s the BEST PART!
4. I had THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE! If you remember, my hubs and I were on different planes, different carriers. For some reason, his flights were delayed… Ontario to Portland to Seattle. And I had it in my mind that he came in close to me. I had planned to wait in the gate area until closer to his flight time. But I couldn’t find the paperwork with his itinerary so I assumed he would be there within a half an hour… boy was I wrong! And I was told the airline he was coming in on was in a totally different terminal, so I went to baggage claim and found a seat.
The seat I found wasn’t just any seat, it was next to the escalators coming in from all the various terminals. It was so awesome to see the various reunions, mother and child, wife and son meeting the service member father, the international people seeing someone they hadn’t seen in a long time. And, well, you know me, I was sitting there crying when the thought occurred to me; How much more does God welcome us with open arms. Maybe He hasn’t heard from you in a while. And maybe you’re a prodigal like I was. Maybe it’s almost your turn to go Home and He’s walking you through to meet Him in heaven. But He is still right there. He’s waiting anxiously, like the people in the airport, an OH, the absolute JOY He has when He sees you…
So if you’re the prodigal, He will celebrate over your homecoming. (” 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:22-24.)
And if you’ve just wandered away, “4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7
And if the time for you to go home is coming… “21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’” Matthew 25:21 and “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4 and “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;” Revelation 12:11a
What an amazing God we serve. One who can show many lessons from one little day in a sea of airports. I hope this encourages you and makes you see how much you are loved and how much God rejoices in His precious children. And next time you are waiting on something, try and see the lessons, hear the sermon, see the visuals God is trying to get across to you.