On the Edge
Last week, as you know, was very hectic. I was in Knoxville, TN to conduct a training session and then I was off to Oklahoma City to see our daughter Jill and her team. I arrived on Wednesday and worked with the team all day Thursday. It was to be one of those in and out trips and I headed to the airport around 5 pm Thursday after class was over for the day and the participants were getting ready to head home.
Jill dropped me off at the terminal, then I went through security and waited by the gate for the first leg of my trip home – a flight to O’Hare in Chicago and then on to Indy. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed and when a new departure time was finally listed, it was evident that I would miss my connection home. That meant a night in O’Hare – and frankly, I’ve done that before… Nope, not an option. So, the friendly folks at American Airlines booked me from Dallas to Indy, but they couldn’t get me to Dallas to catch the flight. That meant I was stranded in Oklahoma for the night.
Finally, I was able to get booked on flights the following morning – Friday – from OKC to Dallas and after a brief layover, on to Indy. In all honesty, there were multiple booking problems and wrong flight dates and a host of other problems. Suffice it to say that I was not in the best mood after all the delays. So, I caught the shuttle back to the hotel, checked back in, and settled in for the evening after a short dinner at the Charleston’s restaurant next door.
The desk clerk at the hotel advised me that I should be back at the airport by 4 am, for the 6am flight I was on to Dallas. I left a wake-up call for 3 am… I tried to go to sleep by 10 pm but that’s tough when you are worried about travel and being delayed another day. The alarm went off way before I was ready, but I didn’t want to be late back to the airport. I caught a taxi as the shuttle didn’t run until 5 am, and when I arrived at the airport, there were hundreds of uniformed military personnel already there. They were sitting on the floor and hadn’t yet been ordered into line.
With priority status on American, I was able to get into line and was first when the airport finally opened at 4 am. There were several vendors in front of me – those folks who work at the airport and have to go through security each morning – so they have a deal where they go to the head of the line. Then, I presented my boarding pass and ID as I was directed into the only screening lane open at that hour of the morning.
The TSA agents were testing the equipment, opening the barricades and the huge glass doors to the security area. Suddenly, as I was walking in, there was a loud noise, kind of like a gunshot, or explosion, and the entire huge glass door in front of me exploded. There was glass everywhere. The floor was littered with shattered safety glass; it was all over my luggage and possessions and I was directed to stand still. Obviously, with all the glass on the floor, people couldn’t take their shoes off and although the agents were trying to re-open the lane, it wasn’t going to happen. Security shut the whole place down and I was re-directed to another part of the airport where I was finally allowed to go through the checkpoint.
I happened to be next to a fellow who was making conversation and apparently, he was in the glass repair business. He told me that the reason that the glass shattered was that the TSA agent who was opening security ran his cart into the edge of the glass. He taught me that safety glass was very strong and could withstand a head-on direct hit, but was very fragile on the edges and architects generally didn’t like to encase the glass in any sort of frame as it ruined the look of the glass in most applications. So… they took their chances that the glass wouldn’t take a hit on the edge… No such luck on Friday – the door literally exploded in front of me.
I started to think about Satan. As Christians, we are able to easily withstand a direct onslaught, but Satan is usually pretty cunning and likes to come at us from the shadows, the edges if you will. That’s were we are the most vulnerable. After all, we aren’t protecting our flank as well as we should be and Satan likes to hit us where we are the least likely to see him coming. Before you know it, Satan can advance and distract us from our God centered missions.
The verse for tonight is from John 10:10, words spoken by Christ Himself, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Notice that Jesus tells us that the thief comes to destroy – and it is rarely straight on. Satan likes to work through deception – that’s the way he rolls. My encouragement this evening is that God is there to protect you – but He expects you to keep watch and not fall asleep. My prayer is that you will do everything in your power to make sure that Satan does not get a foothold into your life. Please be alert and realize that Satan will most likely try to enter along the edges of your life – just like the way the glass door broke – seemingly so strong, and yet so fragile if you knew where to hit it.
So, as the Scripture tells us, stay alert, keep focused on Jesus and have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…