First Class

Well, we’re finally home and recovering from our trip our west to San Diego last week. We headed home on Saturday after having brunch with a client of mine who just happened to be in San Diego at the same time we were. We were stationed at the Marriott Marquis on the harbor and so the three of us enjoyed breakfast at the buffet.

Friday, Janet and I spent most of the day in La Jolla and some of the smaller communities up the coast a short way from the city. By Saturday afternoon, we were both ready to head home. So, after we returned the car to Avis, and boarded the shuttle to the airport, we relaxed in the American Admiral’s Club lounge until our plane for ready for boarding. Now most of this is pretty much second nature to me. As most of you know, I travel quite frequently and when I am done with my work, I usually see if I can be upgraded to first class for the trip home. Most of the time, especially on my way back from Dallas, it isn’t a problem to be able to get the upgrade. But Janet reminded me several months ago that she has never flown first class, anywhere, and so I went on a mission to make sure that our trip ended with a return trip from California in the front of the plane.

I had to figure several things out, but the folks at American were very helpful and it turned out that before we even headed out west, we were assured of a first class return. Janet was pretty jazzed about it and I teased her most of the week about how much she would enjoy it – it really is different than flying in the back of the plane. To be sure, on the trip west, we were on newer planes, but it was undeniable that even though we had exit row seating, there was less room than we are used to. I swear that seat width in the newer planes is even smaller than in the older ones.

So the thought of a first class return was even sweeter after the cramped trip out west. As we boarded the return flight to Dallas, Janet chose the window, leaving me with the aisle. As we took off, we were soon free to move about the cabin and turn on our electronic devices. Now I should stop here and let you know that Janet’s biggest pet peeve is someone who reclines their seat back during a flight and you guessed it, as soon as he could, the guy in front of her, and also the person in front of me, reclined their seats into us. That set the tone for a less than stellar flight. About halfway to Dallas, Janet decided to get out of her seat and move about the cabin.

First, she tried to do the contortionist thing and attempted to get out of her seat without disturbing the person in front of her. Personally, I would have asked the guy to move his seat forward, but that is just not Janet’s way – she never wants to create an inconvenience. So on her way out out to the aisle, she inadvertently knocked over my full can of Diet Coke from the center console into my seat. Although Janet hadn’t realized that the can had been spilled, I watched in horror as a full soft drink soaked into my seat. I ended up asking the flight attendant for assistance and she suggested that I sit on a blanket for the duration of the flight – which I did. So there you have it, my first class flight with a wet bottom……

Needless to say, between the rude people up front, who also took off their shoes and propped their feet up on the cabin wall, the spilled drink on my seat, the dirty carpeting and worn interior, it wasn’t long before Janet let me know that she had been on her first, and perhaps last, first class trip. Frankly, I couldn’t blame her – it wasn’t one of the best flights I have ever had either. It was just so disappointing to anticipate the trip and then have so many things go wrong.

It did, however, remind me that those of us who are Christ followers have chosen to go first class in our spiritual lives – it fact, one might say that it is the only way to go! The verse for tonight comes from Rev. 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” In this verse, Christ reminds us that He was there first, in the beginning, with the Father and the Holy Spirit; and He will also be there last, in the end, through all eternity with us by His side. The “Alpha and Omega” refers to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Usually, this sort of language means that Christ is not only the Beginning and the End, but is also everything in between – FROM the beginning to the End; and that’s a long time!

My encouragement tonight is to make sure that you realize that a decision in favor of Christ is a decision for eternity – first class all the way. My prayer is that if you haven’t already done so, you will consider accepting a first class ticket – and if you are already in the first class section, that you will sit back and enjoy the ride. Grace and peace, through all eternity…..


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