So remember last week’s post, the one about trusting God to orchestrate our days?
That published on Friday morning. The same Friday morning that we headed to the airport for a 7:40am flight to Chicago, where our family planned to spend a four-day weekend for our summer vacation.
We checked in with plenty of time to eat breakfast before we boarded the plane. We got settled in our seats, and all appeared to be well.
Until they deplaned us. There apparently was a leak in the cockpit, which, since it was raining, could lead to instruments in the control panel shorting out. Not good.
The captain gave periodic updates as we waited in the gate area, saying they’d found the leak, but were having difficulty sealing it. Then they weren’t able to maintain pressure in the cabin, another important concept when you’re tens of thousands of feet up in the air!
They finally canceled our flight just before noon, and we were able to get tickets for a 3:30pm flight. We left the airport to get lunch…and just as we got back to the parking garage, the “bad” news started coming in. The new flight was now delayed due to thunderstorms between us and Chicago. So back into the airport we went…and continued to be delayed.
We finally boarded the plane around 6:00pm. And yes, my husband noted the irony of the post I’d written, and the way our day unfolded. It was NOT how we would have orchestrated it…but what a great chance to live out the truth of what I’d written.
And, as always, there are lessons to be learned.
Here’s five of them.
1. God is in control. I am not.
How many situations do we face every day that we can’t control? Another person’s reaction, the weather, the traffic, how quickly the checkout line moves…the list goes on and on.
Every one of these situations is a chance to recognize God’s sovereignty, and to submit to whatever He has willed for us in that moment.
2. There is always, always, always something for which to be thankful.
Here’s a short list from last Friday.
~They deplaned us quickly on learning there was a problem with the aircraft. There was no sitting on the plane for a long period of time.
~We all kept fairly good attitudes throughout the long day.
~We were traveling with teenagers, not toddlers. Trying to entertain little ones for all those hours would have been a struggle!
~Our girls showed us the Game Pigeon app, which let the four of us play Crazy 8s together on our phones while we waited.
~We were upgraded on our afternoon flight, so had more spacious seats, and free Direct TV for the flight.
3. Don’t take your frustrations out on other people, especially those who, like you, have no control over the situation.
One passenger in particular was venting his frustration over the delay to the gate agent. My husband remarked to me, “Does anyone think the pilot or these airline employees got up this morning hoping that this flight would be canceled?” No way. They were as eager as we were for everything to go as scheduled. But it didn’t. And there was nothing they could do to get that plane in the air any faster than what they were already doing.
4. Laughter is good medicine.
If you’ve never visited the Charleston airport, let’s just say that it’s small. Not a lot to entertain yourself with if you’re stuck there for awhile.
However, on one of our strolls through the terminal, our 15-year-old and I walked through a store looking at what they had for sale. She grabbed a joke book from the shelf, and began reading jokes aloud. Admittedly, we’d been up since around 4:30am, so were a bit on the tired side and easily entertained. Regardless, the jokes made us laugh, and left us a little bit happier.
5. It’s okay to just trust that God knows best, without having to know or understand the reason why.
I can’t tell you what purpose God had in delaying our travel plans by ten hours. As far as we know, there was no life-changing impact on people around us. I can’t say that we avoided some major catastrophe.
The bottom line is that hanging out at the Charleston airport is just what God had for us that day. So my best option was to make the choice to trust His plan, and move on to the next thing.
All of this being said, maybe I should be more careful what I post about the next time we plan to leave town!!