Yesterday was a disastrous travel day for me. I left home at 4 am for a 6 am flight expecting that I would arrive in New Haven Connecticut at a reasonable hour, have dinner with friends and a good night’s sleep before starting my week long teaching session at the Overseas Ministries Study Center. Severe thunderstorms in Chicago played havoc with my day and twenty four hours later I finally dragged my weary body into bed hoping to get a nap before breakfast.
The day was not a total disaster however. I spent some of my waiting hours at Chicago O’Hare remembering other airports I have lived in and the stories associated with my adventures. I remember being stranded at Washington Dulles and meeting a delightful Haitian lady who spoke hardly a word of English. Together we figured out how to change our flights, find a hotel and get to our destination. She called me her guardian angel.
I also remember Tom and I being stranded in Pittsburg by snow storms. We spent two peaceful and very relaxing days enjoying the beauty of the snowy landscape, in one of the few hotels that had power. We returned home refreshed and relaxed.
I remember too sitting with a friend at the airport in Accra Ghana for 24 hours. Not fun but we found out later that our plane was grounded in London for much overdue maintenance checks. Who knows what disaster we were protected from.
Of course there were the times of stressfully trying to present when most of my luggage and notes were lost who knows where for a couple of days. There were sleepless nights that I could have done without. What I noticed particularly however were the anxieties I could have let go of. After all being delayed for a day is not cataclysmic. The earth did not shake and even my life was not really impacted. In fact most of these memories are good not bad. If anything they all slowed me down to take time to notice things I would not otherwise notice.
One of the chapters I am working on in my book Return to Our Senses, is about the need to remember. Memories help root our prayers and our lives in the faithfulness of God and can provide important signposts that lead us onward towards the heart of God. Taking time to remember is important and though I would rather not have spent fourteen hours at the airport yesterday I am grateful for the memories it stirred and the reminders of God’s faithfulness in the little as well as the big circumstances of our lives.
There was much to give thanks for in my journey. I am grateful for the faithfulness of God who kept me safe throughout the journey. I am grateful for the faithfulness of friends – Robert Watton cheerfully picked me up at the airport at 4 am in spite of the fact that it meant he would go to work from a sleepless night And as we finally flew towards Harford CT the view of the super moon outside the window was breathtaking in its beauty. That is a memory that will stay with me into the future too.
Let us always remember the wonder of God’ love
Let us always remember the beauty of God’s world
Let us always remember the joy of God’s faithfulness
Let us remember and give thanks