That’s when I started getting antsy, being snuggled between strangers on the plane.
Leaning my head back on the airplane headrest I started thinking about everything I had to do when I got home. I had just left a full week of my heart being filled up with my daughter Lauren and grandson Jackson. It’s never long enough.
I glance at my watch as the pilot comes on announcing our delay. Not too concerned, I go back to my magazine. Then another magazine. Shifting in my seat, I start thinking, this tarmac delay is taking much longer than anyone expected.
I looked at my watch as they were about to release all of us imprisoned passengers. I realize I have exactly 5 minutes to get to the gate where my connecting flight would be.
It wasn’t close. With laced up shoes, overhead bag in hand, and all judgment suspended about the runners we snicker at in the airport, it would be a definite run to make it.
Did I mention I was in the largest airport that would require a shuttle bus to get to the gate? There were 3 of us. It would be one for the record books if we made it.
We’re off. We scurry, we screech out to catch the connecting flight and right there before my eyes the plane is taxiing down the runway. Noooooooo. We missed it by one minute. They had even called ahead for us to let them know 3 passengers were coming to board.
We shuffled towards the information bar. My mouth gaped open as the man in front of me started shredding the agent with words we can’t say on here. She sheepishly stared at him and said, sorry sir. No flights leave this evening, we can put you on the one at 6 am. Blankety-blank blank continued flying off his lips.
This wasn’t looking good for me. I step up. As if eyes could beg, mine sure did. I wanted to get home today. She apologized but the gentle let down was offered in a meal voucher. Huh? I don’t want food, I want a plane headed to Denver. No such luck. Not for tonight anyways.
I couldn’t risk going to a hotel and missing another flight in the morning so it looked like LaGuardia airport would be where I would stay for the night. I am certain I visited every square inch of Laguardia.
As the night went on I was amazed at the people who could just pop a squat and sleep. Anywhere.
One guy slept so hard that I began to live vicariously through him. I sat staring in envy as He curled up, cozy as a cat on the airport seats.
Stretched out, pulling another seat in front of him for his makeshift bed. Me on the other hand, I couldn’t find a comfortable position no matter what chair or seat maneuver I tried.
I studied the man for pointers attempting to adjust my body to the stacked seats.
Just pull up a spot and stretch out. Pop in your earbuds and assume the position. Sounds simple huh?
It definitely is not. I sit, slump, slide, and curl up. I am dripping with envy as I stare in unbelief at the guy across from me. He’s now my hero. How does He just lay there looking cozy and yet miserable in the makeshift bed at Laguardia?
I swear. I bet this guy has drool dripping down the side of his face. Screw it. I fumble with my pillow which is actually my carry on bag and get up once again for a stroll around the airport.
People crammed in corners, underneath airport seats just anywhere to catch a wink. I discovered I am not that girl. My gift of sleeping happens in a bed, curled up with my down comforter.
At one point a cleaning person came by and gave me a blanket. Bless-ed soul. Obviously she saw the misery on my face and my shivering.
I hop up again to go for a walk to kill time.
I pace and pace only to circle around again and find a spot that seems to have some ambiance. I know, yes ambiance. This is exactly what I am looking for, ambiance required for an all-nighter at Laguardia. Minutes creep by as I wait for my 8 am flight. Finally.
Strange, but when they call my section I feel like I have won some grand prize. When the doors opened, they seemed to do a little dance waving me in. I wanted to hug the ticket agent and the door but I was too tired and they would think, “weirdo.”
Finding my seat, I mumbled to myself, please Lord, no talkers. Chatty ones next to you on the plane isn’t what you want after an all-nighter.
In about 0.3 seconds I was conked out as we took off. The world could’ve been talking and I wouldn’t have known.
Cognitive decline starts happening after a certain point of zero sleep. Sleep is no longer an option but a necessity and without it Ms.Cranky here is gonna be even less pleasant.
Jesus, take the wheel, the attitude, the thick teeth with no toothbrush, and a plane seat that I can turn into a queen-size bed in my head.
This is the point people start fantasizing about those luxury planes, ya know the ones that really do have seats like a queen-size bed.
They dab your forehead with a damp cloth and feed you grapes. You know the ones, not like mine. Mine is where my carry on is in my lap and I am crammed in coach. In the middle seat no less.
Trials and Challenges
These small trials challenge our comfort, our convenience, and our character.
Did I pass? Uh. I’m a work in progress. I want to say yes but honestly, my ‘flesh fits’ reveal how many times I react to inconveniences.
We often think we are one way and then slapped in the face with a trial reveals how we actually are. These are very helpful as we evaluate our much needed spiritual growth. Fruit isn’t developed in a vacuum.
It’s developed when we encounter things that we didn’t expect (inconvenience). It rubs against us the wrong way and feels bristly (our comfort) and our less than sweet attitude starts stinking. (character)
Consequently this trip happened while I was a bible college student. I’m certain it was a test that I may or may not have failed.
Comfort, convenience, and character all tested and jumbled up. Did I mention that I don’t like my plans changed? I know God always laughs at this one.
Maybe God says all of these mini-trials are good for your heart. They make you wait. They test your attitude and your entitlement.
As the flight lands, I whisper, thank God.
Missing your flight has a strange way of revealing what is in us. Some fight verbally. Others do it internally, exposing how agitated we become when we don’t get what we want as quickly as we want.
Lord, help me to grow up when the smallest of things let me down. I wish I would’ve put on big girl panties to endure my attitude over a missed flight. I wish I would’ve blessed the man who managed to sleep instead of envying him. I wish I would’ve seen your face in the cleaning lady who handed me a blanket to keep me warm.
Help me lay down the things that don’t look anything like you when I am tested. Thank you for showing me your mercy is new every morning.
Through The Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.