It’s almost 2:45 pm and I am sitting on the tarmac in Indy – already 90 minutes late for the takeoff of my flight to Philly. We pulled away from the gate somewhere around 2:00 and at least I got upgraded to first class for the flight there.
It’s been an odd day so far. I got everything ready for my client visit and for all the stuff we are going to do with the team tomorrow. Normally, I fly into Newark but for a number of reasons, it made more sense for me to go to Philly, rent a car and head to Princeton where the Marriott is located. I plan to return to Indy late in the day on Wednesday. We have this off-site annually in the hopes of generating more camaraderie on the team and to let everyone know what the expectations are for the year.
For my business meetings, I’m in pretty good shape from a prep standpoint, and to be quite honest, I am more consumed with the flight. The airlines are raising fares like crazy and putting in restrictions that just don’t work very well for me. For example, I fly to Dallas every month – I have done that for 5 years now, and this month I paid about $475 for the flight, which is noticeably up from where it has been in the past – and the schedule has been the same almost every time. Out on Monday, back on Tuesday – same flights…. Next month, the fare goes to $1290 for the same thing. Nothing different – but American Airlines wants me to stay 3 nights to get the same fare I had this month. And I just can’t do that.
So I am thinking about switching to another airline. I won’t be able to get there non-stop, but now, I can’t do that anyway with the new fares. So, I might just move as much of my business to US Air as I can. But then again, I am stuck on the runway right now. You can tell that I am really frustrated. Flying is just a hassle these days. In fact, whenever we can, Janet and I always choose to drive. We just enjoy it so much better. I feel like I am on a bus with wings.
But, back to the story. There is only one runway open in Philly and clouds are apparently everywhere. Visibility is almost zero and the ceiling is almost on the ground. From what the captain told us, they have stacked the planes up and increased the spacing between them to 4 times the normal distance. As I sit here writing, with the crew’s permission, I hear the engines fire up again, so just maybe we have clearance to take off…… Nope – false alarm – 8 more minutes. It’s like pea soup outside. Well, got to go now – be back shortly.
We’re at cruising altitude now and I need my sun glasses. Yep – that’s right. When we first took off, I was reminded of the haze that I remember from each autumn when I was a boy. That blue, smokey haze that you may have seen in the mountains or when all the neighbors were all burning leaves in the street. Boy, how I used to love that smell! And then, as soon as it started, it was gone and there is blue sky for as far as I can see. The clouds look like a mat of cotton under the plane. It is serene, peaceful and a great day to be flying – at least from where I am right now.
In fact, my attitude is a whole lot different from the way it was less than 10 minutes ago. I find that just as amazing. Of course, you know if you are a regular reader of this blog that I always say a little prayer for my family when I take off. It ends with the words, “Father, into your hands I deliver my spirit.” It just seems fitting to do that as the plane rises toward heaven. Well today, God had a little surprise for me – brilliant, bright sun. It is simply gorgeous….
You also know that I am always reminded of ways that our daily lives interact with God. In fact, that’s the whole point of this blog – Transitions by The Book – God is always with us. And right now, I can’t help but think of how quickly my view of things just changed. It all has to do with perspective. A little while ago I was worried about the weather and the low ceiling coupled with the low visibility. Now, I can see for miles. It just blows my mind.
Because I know that my life is the same way. When I get caught thinking in the moment, God has a way of letting me know that He has my back. Like today – surrender to God with the short prayer on take-off and suddenly, life looks a whole lot different. Isn’t that just like God? Perhaps things will get a little murky on the way down, but for now, that isn’t my concern.
The verse that is stuck in my brain right now is the beginning of the 23rd Psalm, written by David. It reads, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Although I know that verse from several of the Bible translations, there is none as beautiful as the King James. So there you have it. From the turmoil of my life to green pastures and still waters – all in several minutes. And I am grateful to God for once again giving me a glimpse of what it is like to be a devoted follower of His. I need to be reminded of that from time to time.
My encouragement today is to let you know that God desires for you to surrender to Him as well. No worries – He has you covered. My prayer is that the next time you are having a tough time, or get caught up in your own stuff, you will deliver your spirit into His hands. He has blue skies, green pastures and still waters for each of His children. Please don’t miss the view – He created it for us. So for now, I think I’m going to look out the window and revel in God’s creation for a little while longer before we land….. Grace and God’s peace to you and yours……