travelling, airplanes, airports, alone
|There is nothing as exciting as waiting in the lounge of an international airport all by yourself. Luggage checked-in, ticket and boarding pass in hand, the coolness of the lounge and the sight of slowly moving planes make my hand clammy and sharpens all my other senses.
There is a comfortable knot in the stomach and a definite perkiness in the eyes and ears. I could just imagine Pepper, my neighbor’s black Chihuahua, at full attention. Pepper, with his ears upright and his eyes sharp is ready to pounce at any moment. I must surely look like Pepper. Fortunately, my hair is long enough to hide my ears-at-attention and my sunglasses hide the excitement brewing in my head.
It’s not the first or even the 20th time that I’d be travelling. But like a child, each plane ride makes me giddy and the thought of going to a foreign land, no matter how often I’ve been there, bring images of adventure and wonder. The possibilities are endless! The novelty of being alone with God --- no, not the ‘novelty’ as I know that God is always with me. Rather, the novelty of being away from all too familiar people, places and being able to turn and tune-in to God. The novelty of doing without the well-meaning advise and opinions of others. That in itself is a wondrous experience.
Travelling alone, alone with God and discovering His creation is such a privilege. You’re pumped with adrenaline of not knowing what could happen; and meeting a variety of people whose ways differ from yours. The only constant is God with you. In a huge airport with hundreds of people going in and out and a dozen planes landing and taking-off at any given hour, I’m in the hub of activity. Yet, I could be alone with God, savor His presence and have intimate conversations with Him.
The ‘fleetingness’ of it all stresses the brief time we have on this earth. With that short time, the more I desire to have a purposeful and full life. Problems at work which seemed insurmountable are reduced to pebbles; people who jar you are thrown a million miles away; and pressing ‘absolutely must-do’s’ are mere post-its on the refrigerator door. Everything else is dwarfed as you focus to what God has laid-out before you --- a world of opportunities.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re on a business trip or going on a vacation. There is always the pleasure of meeting new people, the fear of getting stranded, the very rare chance of getting a new job offer, cross paths into a long, lost friend, fall in love, make an unscheduled detour to a strange place or even meet an accident. All possible, all probable. Curiously, it puts my life in perspective and helps me sift the essentials from the non-essentials. Not surprising, the essentials are not the things I want to have or the position I want to obtain, but the relationships I have: to be a supportive wife, a loving mother, a true friend, a caring sister, a good daughter. The essentials are how have I treated my family and friends? Have I shown kindness? Do they know I love and care for them?
Getting stock of my life while travelling, removes all the fluff. In between coming and going, I get to the core issues of my heart and soul.