“The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation... to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of the homeland towards which we walk.”
When I watched my 6:45pm flight change to 10:00pm, within 10 seconds I knew it was going to be one of those trips. American Airlines couldn’t tell me what the issue was, but they assured me I would arrive at my next destination two days after my speech was to take place. The gate agent couldn’t quite understand why that wouldn’t work, so finally I asked to be redirected home to Philadelphia. The flight, scheduled for a few hours later, cancelled. I decided to make the best of it, visit a friend from college, and take the next flight out early in the morning. That flight also cancelled. And the next. After 18 hours, four cancelled flights and a plethora of circular conversations with the airlines, I decided that if I were placing bets on either the now 4:00pm flight that promised to get me home or Dan Cellucci, I was betting on Dan Cellucci. It began to feel a little like the Iliad. After scouring the rental car companies to find a one-way rental, driving seven hours with at least two hours dedicated just to NYC, I arrived at the rental car return at Philadelphia International airport where my journey began, only to realize I was at terminal F and my car was parked at terminal A. As I sweated my way in the "real-feel" temperature of 110, lugging my suitcase, I noticed an entrance to the airport around terminal C and I decided to get some AC relief for the remainder of my walk. The escalator took me right to the hallway where the passengers from my 4:00pm flight were deplaning.
The irony of arriving exactly at the same time as the flight wouldn’t leave me as I then sat in Philadelphia rush-hour traffic trying to get home. I thought about how often I refuse to trust others (sometimes with good reason) and prefer to bet on myself because of my impatience and my need for control. My relationship with American Airlines has always been a difficult one, but what about in my relationships with those I lead or love? If I always need to drive, how does anyone else have the chance to lead? In my journey of faith, while I may be restless in the Lord’s terminal, do I believe that He will deliver me to where I’m supposed to go? Am I even open to that destination? As I pulled into my driveway, I was grateful to be home but also grateful to have had the time to reflect on where I still need to grow. Where are you headed this week? Prayers that you are open to God in the driver’s seat.